A$AP Rocky was born Rakim Mayers in Harlem, New York. He was named after MC Rakim Allah, one half of the Eric B. & Rakim duo. They actually met in Rakim Mayers' very early days when his mom asked the hip-hop legend to sign her baby son's diaper.
Rakim Mayers started rapping at the age of 8, inspired by local rap group The Diplomats.
When Rakim Mayers was 12 years old, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs. A year later, his older brother, Ricky, was shot dead in Harlem by a rival drug dealer. Rocky spent some time moving between homeless shelters with his mom and two sisters while selling weed himself. By the age 15, he was selling crack cocaine in the Bronx. "I wasn't no big-time hustler," Rocky told Billboard magazine. "I was one of those guys that would do well in the summer and save enough to support my studio time, buy clothes, pay the bills. That lifestyle's wack. I ain't got time for that petty s--t, man. I'm bigger than that."
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