A$AP Yams has passed away. He was 26 years old.
Yams—born Steven Rodriguez—was a founding member of A$AP Mob and played an integral part in shaping the music careers of A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg. He also helped push their brand beyond rap and into fashion alongside Rocky, A$AP Bari and A$AP Illz. No details have been revealed as to how he passed away at the moment.
His behind-the-scenes savvy clearly resonated in the modern era, as Yams built up the Mob's status largely through the internet, and specifically Tumblr, which was uncharted territory at the turn of this decade. In a 2013 interview with Complex, Yams spoke at length as to how he mapped out their moves using the social networking site.
A$AP Mob is poised to have a big year, with projects from Rocky, Ferg, A$AP Nast, and their collective release set to drop in 2015. Read more about A$AP Yams and his legacy here.
Many artists have offered their condolences to Yams and his family, including several members of the Mob. You can read their heartfelt messages below.
UPDATE 1/18/15 2:05PM: RCA and Polo Grounds Music have each issued a statement on the passing of A$AP Yams. Both labels are home to A$AP Worldwide, a company co-founded by Yams. He and the crew famously brokered a deal with Sony, RCA, and its subdivision Polo Grounds for $3 million in 2011, a major move that signaled the impending rise of A$AP Mob to a national level.
“All of us at RCA Records are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of A$AP Yams. As one of the creative forces behind A$AP Worldwide, Yams’ vision, humor and dedication to the members of A$AP Mob will always be remembered. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”