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Rakim Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known by his stage name A$AP Rocky, is an American rapper and director. Born and raised in the New York City neighborhood, Harlem, he released the mixtape LiveLoveA$AP in 2011. On December 5, 2011, the BBC announced that he had been nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll. He is currently working on the ASAP Mob album, as well as his debut album, LongLiveA$AP, scheduled to be released in July 2012. Born in 1988, he was named after the hip hop star Rakim, one half of the Eric B. & Rakim duo. When he was 12 years old, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs. A year later an older brother was killed near his apartment, which inspired him to take rapping seriously. Mayers had started rapping at age 8, grew up admiring Harlem-based rap group The Diplomats, and also lists among his influences Three 6 Mafia, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, UGK and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. After living in a shelter with his mother, and elsewhere around Manhattan, Mayers moved to Elmwood Park, New Jersey.

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