A$AP Rocky on Succeeding With Family

It was at one of his first concerts that A$AP Rocky noticed a stocky guy in a jacket and toque in the front row. While many at the front were busy taking photos, this guy was going wild to each song. So, Rocky invited him on stage.

After that day, the fan didn’t go away.

“He was always there. He was always so helpful. So I thought, why not make him my assistant and get him paid?” – A$AP Rocky, SVDDXNLY

Today, that fan is A$AP Lou Banga, Rocky’s right hand man and one of his best friends.

“If I’m up, I’m with Lou.” – A$AP Rocky

In the past four years, A$AP Rocky has gone from a young rapper making music videos around his Harlem neighbourhood to one of hip hop’s rising stars. The self-professed pretty boy’s 2013 album Long. Live. A$AP debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, he went on tour with Rihanna at her request and has formed friendships with some of the world’s top designers, such as Jeremy Scott.

Rocky’s music videos generally revolve around similar elements: fashion, drugs, women and his crew.  And from his early work to hits from his album, there are always a group of faces in the background, backing up the star. And those faces have scarcely changed since day one.

Rocky is part of the larger A$AP Mob collective, which includes his closest friends and collaborators. They came together in 2006 over their similar yet uncommon interests. A love for fashion, Texas music and being open minded isn’t the norm for a young group of friends in New York City.

“Everyone that I work with, I have to have an organic relationship with. You have to actually be my friend for me to work with you.” – A$AP Rocky

His best friends are the people he works with day in and day out. They’ve grown together in Harlem, supported each other through the passing of Rocky’s brother and father and are now sticking together during this rise to fame that feels more collective even if Rocky is the star.

“Yams and I used to sit up on the phone strategizing, how we would single-handedly come in and take over this rap shit. We didn’t want to be under nobody, we didn’t want to be anyone’s protégé, we didn’t need a co-sign, we said ‘We’re going to come in and do it our way.’” – A$AP Rocky

Rocky is in a unique situation where he lives, works and celebrates with his same friends. For many of us, that may be too much. But having people around you for both work and fun is important. Whether it’s a friend for the gym or a group you can bounce business decisions off, it’s essential you have people to challenge you and add viewpoints to your ideas you may not have considered. And what’s just as important is having people you can celebrate with when you hit a milestone.

Find your version of A$AP Mob and take it over. Together.

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Further Reading:

A$AP Rocky – Interview Magazine

Further Viewing:

Image Credit: galleryhip.com

About Cormac McGee

Cormac McGee is a journalism student at Ryerson University whose writing focuses on sports, business and hip hop. He’s currently the blog editor for the Ryerson Review of Journalism — Canada’s media watchdog — and hosts themasterKrates podcast. Also pursuing a minor in marketing, he has a keen interest in branding and is working towards pay, shade and a vacay. Holler at him on Twitter @cormacmcgee.