The famous faces in the hip-hop community, the ones that everyone knows by name, didn't get to where they are alone. Behind every Rihanna and behind every Macklemore, there is an entire universe of behind-the-scenes handlers that helped carry the stars to where they are today. Sadly, there are some as in the case of Kesha's lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke that allegedly take advantage of their protégées, but this isn't one of those times. A$AP Mob founder A$AP Yams, a.k.a. Steven Rodriguez passed away at age 26, his label has confirmed, and performers from Rihanna to A$AP Mob member A$AP Rocky have spoken up to mourn him.
"All of us at RCA Records are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of A$AP Yams," read the official statement from his label. "As one of the creative forces behind A$AP Worldwide, Yams' vision, humor and dedication to the members of A$AP Mob will always be remembered. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."
Rodriguez had a healthy reputation as a hip-hop tastemaker even before founding the A$AP Mob, which was a collective of people active in music, style, and art that included most notable memember A$AP Rocky of "F***in' Problems" fame. Of course, it wasn't just members of the Mob who were mourning their founder on Sunday. Drake, who collaborated with Rocky on "F***in' Problems," Rihanna, and Azealia Banks all expressed their sadness as well. As of the current moment, Yams' cause of death and the details of the tragedy all remain unknown, but it cannot be denied that he will be missed.