While discussion happens within the office to appreciate a person’s accomplishments in life, no matter how large or small they may seem to passive participants, it is difficult for anyone to have a clear state of mind following a death. It is even more difficult for an author to write a piece that they can be comfortable in publishing. You only get the one chance to represent an entire person’s life.
Perhaps it is fitting then that we admired and respected ASAP Yams to the degree we do. He was not a well-known figure to the public, many people confusing him for an active artist based on his prominently featured ASAP prefix, but he operated behind the scenes in a way many of us could only wish to achieve. His ability to manage and find the perfect people to work together in a matchmaker mentality, his sheer dedication to hip-hop, and his vision and passion for music all remain constant sources of inspiration for anyone involved in any way with the arts.
Though he was never behind the mixing boards of a studio, Steven Rodriguez helped form the styles and nuisances of numerous prominent artists known today through his breadth and depth of music knowledge. Through his Yamborghini Records side-project, he worked with and developed Dash, Vince Staples, Aston Matthews, and Joey Fatts, and had some degree of influence with Flatbush Zombies, Action Bronson, Freddie Gibbs, and Danny Brown as evident by guest appearances.
His best known work, however, was with the ASAP crew. Everyone in ASAP owes their founder their careers. Cultivating their talents, matching up their flows, mannerisms, and lyrical content with a balance between artistic legitimacy, mainstream appeal, and constant tweaks and adjustments to match their development can very rarely be done on a singular basis. To manage to do this with an entire group of people on top of his side work is extraordinary.
We honour ASAP Yams because we can all connect to him. We are not always admired and idolized for our work and passion, but we do it anyway because of our internal drive and motivation. ASAP Yams represents everyone who has ever not been respected or appreciated to the degree they should be.