RIP A$AP Yam Pt. II: The Glorification of Self Destruction and Counterculture Martyrs



A$AP Yams (Steven Rodriguez) was basically the mastermind behind A$AP and one of the founding members with A$AP Bari and A$AP Illz. A$AP standing for Always Strive And Prosper.  Born in Harlem with port wine disease (the purple birthmark on his face) he obviously had to prove his worth and came under constant scrutiny and slander. Who knows if his past haunted him? All we know is that he was very influential in the rebellious counterculture of the NYC youth even before A$AP Rocky grew to mass appeal. Yams was charismatic, likable and comedic. He started his own imprint called “Yamborghini Records” signing Vince Staples, Aston Mathews, and Joey Fatts. In the reemergence of the 60s counterculture (neo-feminism, drugs, protests, new age spirituality, Afrocentrism, hippies etc) in the East coast, he was one of the most prodigious especially with controlled substances.


Yams was seen on numerous occasions with a bottle of Hennessy or lean (codeine and promethazine).  He even started a clothing line before his untimely demise called “Black Out Boyz”. Black Out Boyz being an A$AP Mob sub-group. Of course celebrating drug culture and the worship of substances, mainly LSD, lean, Xanax, weed and cocaine.


In the declining western civilization decadence, debauchery and hedonism are openly endorsed and promoted.  A lot of the substance in Hip Hop today is much like cocky  bourgeoisie rap: cocaine, high fashion, art, expensive liquor, *insert model name here, foreign cars, etc.  Yams was leading the way on the ground level in the trenches a long with much of his numerous acolytes in this drug induced sadomasochistic slow death march of civilization. Giving me reason to believe many of his peers are in fact still addicted to lean, marijuana, alcohol and prescription drugs.


When he died in January (18th) everyone assumed almost automatically that it was the result of an overdose. He immediately entered the Hall of Fame in the “Hegemony of Hedonism” and became another Counterculture Martyr. Many people expressed their emotions on the situation all over the internet. And later o it was proven that it was in fact an overdose after much denial from fellow A$AP Mob members.


It didn’t take long for people to find his tumblr post from the year before with him discussing his enlightenment in rehab. He briefly talked about how his substance abuse particularly of lean and Xanax lead to him actually having seizures similar to Pimp C (of UGK) who also died of a lean overdose. Steven came to the realization that he should be mentally, physically, and financially independent. As you can see he became disgusted with the counterculture he helped create that has apparently spun wildly out of control. It’s pretty clear now that we live in a society where ignorance is routinely chosen over intelligence. Basically cults of individuals with no identity are formed and they are exploited for the sake of status by the cult leaders. Influential people or trendsetters are basically shepherds leading the herd off a cliff. Music artists in particular are essentially exploiting people with no sense of self in order to acquire fame and fortune. Rappers just provide generations of people with an identity and direction because they have none. The record labels just take creative people usually with mental illnesses or issues of their own and pimp them out and use them to influence certain segments of the population who might remotely identify with them. It backfires when everyone is a duplicate and there’s an over-saturation of people in certain sub cultures.


Hence, with that in mind it’s actually no wonder his death was pretty much celebrated by some and the drug culture actually seemed little effected especially in the upper echelons of counterculture and hedonism. The usual characters are still constantly seen consuming the usual substances. In the English speaking world pop/counterculture we often rejoice, cheer and salivate at the self destruction of influential individuals. We’re obsessed with spectacle and infatuated with feeding into our primal impulses. People have a messiah complex where we glorify and idol worship talented people with issues indirectly contributing to their demise. We’ve seen this same tragic comedy play out in the same old theater of the absurd. It’s like sadomasochism because we get a kick out of watching people destroy themselves. This results in talented people leaving us way too early. These people are then worshiped as counterculture martyrs.

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