The music industry is unfortunately most recognized for its scandals. From murders to feuds to sex scandals to legal and criminal issues and everything in between, the world of studio produced music is full of issues and the more they are brought to light the more the world takes a step back. This is truly unfortunate because this takes away from the beauty of the art and minimizes the messages and the lives of those who pour their all into creating something they truly feel passionate about. One such recent scandal is the accusation of a leaked sex tape from ASAP Rocky.
Who is ASAP Rocky?
According to the New York Times, ASAP Rocky was born Rakim Athelaston Nakache Mayers and is a New York rapper, actor and fashion model who got his start on YouTube and Tumblr in the early 2000s through a creative collective based in Harlem called the ASAP Mob. He was born in 1988 and is just now in his early thirties. He adopted his stage name from the group he joined as a young man.
His early life, like that of many young musicians growing up in the eighties and nineties, was extremely difficult. His father was jailed for selling drugs, his sister overdosed, and his brother was killed in Harlem when Mayers was only thirteen years old. He began to rap at the age of nine and got much of his early influence from his brother. His other influences included Mobb Deep, Three 6 Mafia, UGK, RUN DMC, and the Wu-Tang Clan. Such a wide range of musical influence certainly contributed to his unique style and message, as did his upbringing and early life. Currently, he seems to even be getting life advice and musical input from Rihanna.
Everyone who creates music does so out of a desire to express their emotional experiences. ASAP Rocky is no different; he channels the experiences of his past through the realities of the present to create a vibe that is unique and expressive.
Rocky’s first musical release was a single, “Purple Swag” that he released in July of 2011; it quickly became a street anthem in New York City. Then just a month later, his single “Peso” was leaked online and got played on the New York Hot 97 radio station which catapulted him into even more popularity. After producing and releasing a music video for “Purple Swag”, he was contacted by several different record levels. His first record deal was for three million dollars which he signed jointly with RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music.
His first real hit as a performer was when he joined forces with Kendrick Lamar as the opening act for a Drake tour in 2012.
Overall, he has released three full studio albums and has a fourth on the way. Long. Live. ASAP was released in January 2013 and reached RIAA 2x Platinum. At. Long. Last. ASAP was released two years later and was RIAA Platinum as well, but did not double. Testing came next in 2018 to slightly less acclaim, and now he has said he is working on a scheduled release of the album All Smiles. One of his most popular releases is the single “Praise The Lord (Da Shine)” which was released on his third album.
ASAP Rocky’s Awards
The artist has been nominated to a total of 37 awards and has won five, including:
- Six BET Awards nominations with a total of one win for Best Collaboration in 2013
- Fifteen BET Hip Hop Awards nominations with a total of two wins for Best Collaboration, Duo or Group in 2013 and Made-You-Look Award in 2014
- Two Grammy Awards nominations, unfortunately with no wins
- Five MTV Video Music Awards nominations, with the most recent being for the 2020 Video Music Awards category for Best Art Direction.
In all, he has done quite well for himself as a smaller artist with a fairly new career.
ASAP Rocky Scandals and Legal Troubles
It seems like no matter where you look in the music industry, scandal and accusations fly. It is no different in the case of ASAP Rocky’s career. Not only has the artist battled public scandal, he has also dealt with the legal system and criminal justice system in multiple countries, including the United States.
His first run-in with the law was in 2006, where he was arrested for drug dealing and spent two weeks in a cell in Rikers Island.
Then, in 2012, right around the same time that he joined forces with Kendrick Lamar and Drake, he was arrested for allegedly participating in a brawl involving a 21-year-old artist named iRome. Additionally, in the same month, he was sued for assault and eventually pled guilty to grand larceny after attempting to cover up an accusation that he was doing drugs in a store in New York City. He tried to take two cameras from bystanders that tried to document his activity.
Then, in 2013, he was charged with misdemeanor simple assault for assaulting a woman during a festival performance. However, this case was dismissed because a witness failed to appear in court.
His unfortunate history of assault cases has continued and he has dealt with similar cases in New Zealand in 2016 and in Toronto, Canada in 2019. His most recent incident received global attention because President Trump actually tweeted about it on several occasions. He was arrested in July of 2019 in Sweden for allegedly assaulting a man in a street in Stockholm. The case dragged on for quite some time and ASAP Rocky was eventually convicted of assault and given a suspended sentence with over a thousand dollars of damage paid. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to claim self defense.
Sex Tape Scandal
The most recent non-legal scandal involving ASAP actually took place in December of 2019 when an alleged sex tape was leaked to Pornhub. While the artist never denied that he was the subject in the tape, he did take to Twitter to defend his “performance” after fans started critiquing his style. All the evidence does seem to point to the fact that it is really him, with fans noticing similar tattoos and voice and hairstyle to the artist. He made a joke out of the whole thing, claiming that he has a “long line of satisfied women” that can attest to his performance.
Overall, it does definitely seem real!
ASAP Rocky brings a unique style that is definitely changing the face of hip hop. And while he is no stranger to scandal, he is still an artist worth listening to. Never let someone’s scandal become or overrule the truth behind the art that they produce or the voice that they bring to the table.