Influenced by the Southern-style swagger of UGK and the rhymes of his hometown heroes the Diplomats, ASAP Rocky gave up slinging drugs in Harlem and moved to Elmwood Park, New Jersey, where he started rapping. By the time he had completed his GED, the self-proclaimed hood outcast had already gained comparisons to Wiz Khalifa and was being championed by Fader magazine, Stereogum, and rap superstar Drake, due to the Internet-leaked singles “Peso” and “Trilla.”
In 2011, just after he turned 22, ASAP Rocky released the Deep Purple mixtape and followed it months later with the digital release of his debut album Live Love A$AP. After signing a reported large deal with Sony, the album was re-released in February of 2012. Even without an official debut, the rapper rounded out the year with a nomination for BBC Radio's Sound of 2012 poll, performing alongside Rihanna at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, playing Lana Del Rey's husband in the singer's "National Anthem" video, and landing a spot in a television commercial for the popular videogame FIFA Soccer 13. The debut, LongliveASAP, finally landed in 2013 and featured the single "Goldie". Santigold, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, and Yelawolf were among his guests while production came from the likes of Clams Casino, Danger Mouse, and Jim Jonsin.
Since Warren G’s “Regulate…G Funk Era” gave Def Jam/Rush Associated Labels a much needed hit in 1994, arriving just as reports of the label's insolvency surfaced, the New York-based powerhouse has largely steered clear of West Coast rap, hewing almost exclusively to East Coast and Southern artists like Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah and Method Man, as well as Young Jeezy. But as the legendary imprint prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the label has returned to the Southland, inking a deal with Compton’s Y.G., an artist that has amassed a massive following prior to radio or any commercial backing.
Best known for a series of scabrous sex-themed songs with unprintable titles, the 19-year-old has swapped gang life for the recording booth and hasn’t looked back, racking up enviable MySpace metrics: over 2 million profile views and multiple songs with over 1 million plays each and a string of sold put performances across the US.
According to Max Gousse, the senior VP of A&R at Island/Def Jam who inked the rapper, the signing stemmed from a newfound emphasis on West Coast artists by label president/CEO L.A. Reid, as well as, of course, Y.G.’s skills and stage presence.
“It started with L.A. making the investment and commitment in bringing out three A&R’s to the West Coast. We’ve been out here searching for the cream of the crop,” said Gousse, who is best known for developing B2K. “I signed him because he has a command of the crowd that reminded me of the classic MCs. You don’t see many young rappers with that kind of command, especially from someone who has never signed a record deal.”
For the intricately tattooed teenager, the signing represents both a form of salvation and the culmination of a long courting process.
“I decided to sign with Def Jam because that was the label that I’d been hearing about for my entire life. It’s a 100% blessing,” said Y.G., who has already achieved that first charted hit Toot It and Boot It. “It’s a crazy feeling. I know I’m blessed and this is only the beginning. Im here to stay. Pushaz Inc is the label and the whole world will soon know what this Pushaz Inc movement is all about.
Y.G.’s music revolves around the day-to-day travails of the average teenager. Indeed, he attributes his heavy popularity to his ability to relate to the normal person. “My music is about my everyday life," he said. "That’s why I think so many young people like it — they can relate. It’s what they and their friends are going through every day — shopping, looking for girls, getting in and out of trouble.”
“Toot it and Boot It,” has remained the number 1 song in Los Angeles for months at radio and is getting airplay across the nation. YG is currently touring all over to promote his single and additional projects.
SHOCKTOBERFEST 2012 RECAP
Shocktoberfest 2012 was one of UC Irvine’s best. The event celebrated the kickoff of the NCAA Basketball season at UC Irvine with an outdoor festival, concert, & Aftershock dance party.
Just as in years past, the event saw students from all over campus come out and support UC Irvine athletes. From the numerous Campus Orgs who sold food at the outdoor festival to MCIA, a dance team at UC Irvine, performing on the court with the men’s & women’s basketball team, Shocktoberfest is a time where all of UC Irvine comes together to celebrate our teams.
In 2012 we also saw tickets completely sell out in a matter of days for artists such as Tyga, Dom Kennedy, & Kendrick Lamar. With our headline artist, basketball teams, & outdoor festival, Shocktoberfest 2012 will be a day those who attended, and even those who didn’t, will remember for years to come.