Tatianna Paulino is the mother of the late hip-hop manager and executive Steven Rodriguez—or as the world knew him, A$AP Yams. He died at the age of 26 in 2015 from a drug overdose. He helped orchestrate the rise of A$AP Mob, which has produced rappers A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, and more. We chronicled the rise or A$AP Rocky in our documentary SXDDVNLY.
Below, Paulino writes about the experience of his death and how it’s shaped her.
Today would have been my son Steven Rodriguez’s 28th birthday.
But at about 3 AM on the morning of January 18 2015, the phone rang displaying the number of his roommate. Steven, aka A$AP Yams, was the founder of the hip hop collective A$AP Mob; he would sometimes phone me from his friend’s number. But at this hour, I knew it wasn’t good. “Mama Tati, Steven isn’t feeling well.” I could barely make out the anxiety-ridden voice on the other end, and my heart began beating wildly.
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