When the news of the death of A$AP Yams hit two Sundays ago, the music industry reacted as if a young Puff Daddy had passed. Yams was the Yoda behind A$AP Mob, the world-conquering rap crew that honed its game in Harlem to become the city’s chief squad, no questions asked. In just a few years, they ascended to the top on the backs of two true fiercely talented rappers: A$AP Rocky, the dandyish wordsmith usually bedecked in designer duds off the runway at Pitti Uomo, and A$AP Ferg, his grimier, zanier street brother with an elastic, rubbery voice that’s capable of dizzying feats of flow.
Yams was not a front man figure—he was always working behind the curtain, pulling strings, whispering in ears—but The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Billboard all ran obits, each testifying to his taste and expertise, and insisting he was someone the city should mourn.
So, this past Thursday night, it was a safe bet that A$AP Ferg’s scheduled performance at Manhattan club Up & Down was more public mass than party. Ferg’s Manhattan show was to re-launch DUH, one of the few unhinged, pansexual, gigantic weekly parties that cross the East River from Brooklyn anymore.
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