A$AP Mob founder Steven Rodriguez, better known by his stage name A$AP Yams, died on Sunday. He was 26.
RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music confirmed the death of A$AP Yams. Circumstances of his death were unavailable, although BET noted that he battled addition to codeine and Xanax and had a stint in rehab last year.
In a statement, the record company wrote, “All of us at RCA Records are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of A$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."
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Rodriguez is credited with helping push the careers of breakout Grammy-nominated hip-hop stars A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg.
In a New York Times profile in 2013, Rodriguez broke down his role as, “Rocky’s like Luke Skywalker, and I’m Yoda.”
The other members of the Harlem hip-hop collective honored and mourned their founder on social media.
“You will be missed Bro. We done touched a lot of ground together, landed on a lot of different soil,” A$AP Ferg wrote in a tribute on Instagram. “You will always be loved & your spirit will live on!”
In a second post he wrote: “You were the brilliant mind, you put us on Game, you changed our lives. You changed my life, you changed the world. R.i.P YAMZ there can never be another one after you.”
According to the Times, Rodriguez “helped shape the taste of a generation, be it the rappers and producers he was working with through ASAP Worldwide, or his own fledgling Yamborghini Records imprint, or the thousands of readers who hung to his every word and recommendation.”