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ASAP Rocky
A$AP Rockyvia Wikimedia Commons

A$AP Rocky gets choked up over Yams' death

The rapper talks for the first time about the A$AP Mob founder

A$AP Rocky has spoken out about the death of Steven "A$AP Yams" Rodriguez. The A$AP Mob founder, who was close friends with Rocky, passed away at the tragically early age of 26 only eight days ago. It marks the first time that Rocky has spoken publicly about the loss of a person who launched his career.

The rapper was at Sundance Film Festival in Utah, at the premiere of Dope, in which Rocky lands his first film role as a drug dealer. He performed at the premiere's afterparty, but could only manage two songs. Backstage, he explained to Billboard why.

"That performance – that was just going to stop me from crying," Rocky said. "I had to address it, because the whole time I was rapping and I wasn't into it, which is sad, but I just gotta keep it real. I can't front. It's even harder knowing that I gotta fly out in less than an hour just to go bury him. That's the part that eats at me." Rocky dedicated the second song to Yams before leaving the stage.

He was also keen to quash rumours that Yams' death was caused by an overdose. "People were saying that Yams overdosed on drugs – he didn't overdose on any drugs. I feel like people feel that way because that's all he's in pictures doing. When you see A$AP Yams you see Hennessey or purple drink, you see some type of controlled substance or illegal narcotic."

But Rocky said that he could see light at the end of the tunnel, with his faith a factor in helping him to heal. "I'm a happy spirit, man, and I feel like time heals," he said. "It's all about good people with good energy, and the universe keeps producing them to me. I'll be fine. God is good and I keep all hope and faith."

Yams' cause of death is still unknown. A$AP Ant has also said that Yams did not die of an overdose. Rocky's second album, co-produced by Yams and Danger Mouse, is expected to come out in the next few months.