Thoughts On: A$AP YAMS

A$AP Yams, the Yung Mogul.

The internet plays a pivotal role in introducing different music, styles & art into our everyday lives. The dominant platforms of communication such as Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr allow users to interchange their interest with others, as well as be given the opportunity to explore and to be exposed to what is different & new.

Watercolor Portrait by Adalky Capellán for KITTYSAYWORD.

A while back, I read the article, Not Like the Old Boss: Hip-Hop’s Spirit Guide about A$AP Yams in The New York Times and learned about his ingenious use of Tumblr as an effective marketing tool that consequently led to the success of the artist, A$AP Rocky.

A$AP Yams is a stand up guy, who rocks vintage Coogi garments and expresses himself with sophisticated slang, hip-hop references and urban colloquialisms. He is frequently seen with the ASAP MOB, but many do not know how instrumental he is to the entire crew.

In April 2010, Yams started a blog on Tumblr by the name of realni**, where he would gather, scan & upload images onto his site. By providing original content on his tumblr, he became the hub of all that encompassed hip-hop –posts ranged from magazine features of hip-hop artist to basic hood images and built a reputation as an online taste maker. The blog eventually became very successful and gained a strong following. Yams also started to post and introduce music of obscure artists, and expose their music to his audience. In April 2011, a year layer after his blog’s launched, Yams posted A$AP Rocky’s “Purple Swag” video on his site and presented it to the public with no affiliation to Rocky. Yams’ audience was very receptive and the video became viral on YouTube. A few months later, A$AP Rocky got signed to RCA/Polo Grounds for $3 million, which would also fund projects for the rest of the A$AP MOB.

Although one may think Rocky’s success happened overnight, it didn’t. Prior to Rocky being signed to RCA, he was finessing his skills with his spirit guide, Yams. For 2 years they worked together testing and exploring different sounds, trying to see what flow could function and stick. When they were ready and felt that timing was right, it was then that they posted their music out to the public, almost anonymously.

Before meeting Rocky, Yams was dude with experience in the music industry. At 16, he acquired an internship with Diplomat Records and also managed producers, helping them sell their songs to rappers. I don’t think his blog was created with the sole purpose to launch Rocky. However, I do believe that he foresaw the opportunity and power of Tumblr’s potential and ability to share beyond measure. Essentially, Yams’ blog created an audience interested in what he curated and the public followed and enjoyed what he posted.

A$AP Yams is the man with a plan. He keeps his ears to the streets and is in tune with what the youth is listening to. He has gained wisdom in the music industry and knows what works, always keeping in mind that timing is essential for a breakout artist. He has gathered an impressive roster of talented and distinguished artists under his YAMBORGHINI record label outside the A$AP umbrella. Artist such as Retch, DA$H, Vince Staples, Ashton Mathews, Joey Fatt$ to name a few. All of these rappers have their own story, sound & distinct personality. This stands out to me, as I often see managers/A&R fail to give proper direction to various artist under the same label. Although these artist have not reached the success of his first artist ASAP Rocky, this the early beginning of a fresh new wave of artist who I sincerely believe have great potential. Each artist offers something different to the plate. I am excited to hear what is to come.

Much respect to you, Yams. You are young, focused & successful & that is something to celebrate. Your story is one of one.

With only 25 years of age, it is only the beginning bruh…


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