A$AP Yams was ahead of his time. Before A$AP Mob was a household name and “viral marketing” was a legitimate business practice, Yams was running the internet. As an influential figure on Tumblr, Yams combined high-level curation with music discovery, and in a recent interview with Desus & Mero, A$AP Rocky broke down how Yams’ support helped him out early on.
When Mero asked about Rocky’s early internet success, Rocky admitted, ”I’m gonna come clean. That whole time with the whole Tumblr… that was ASAP Yams the whole time.”
he’d just be like, ‘Yo I like this kid from Harlem, but I don’t know where he’s from, it might be Texas, it might be LA.’ So he’d put that out there because he’s trying to make it seem like he didn’t know me like that.
“He was a big Tumblr name already, he developed his name,” Rocky continued. “He would sneak our stuff in there and they ain’t even know he had affiliation with me or nothing… His Tumblr used to get reblogged a lot, by OnSmash, DatPiff back in the days, sometimes even The Source would repost. He had a lot of vintage photos of rappers that you’ll never see. You gotta collect these old XXL, Vibe magazines. And he’d just be like, ‘Yo I like this kid from Harlem, but I don’t know where he’s from, it might be Texas, it might be LA.’ So he’d put that out there because he’s trying to make it seem like he didn’t know me like that. He’d be throwing up mad relevant shit and then just put me in the mix of it.”
Yams’ strategy paid off, and when Rocky’s “Purple Swag” video dropped, it was the breakthrough moment that the internet couldn’t ignore. For Rocky, the reaction confirmed that he was on the right path. “I was just happy that people was fucking with it.”
Watch Rocky’s Desus & Mero interview above. The part about Yams and Tumblr starts around 1:25.