After releasing a series of acclaimed mixtapes over the previous three years, rapper A$AP Rocky dropped his first official album in 2013, titled Long.Live.A$AP. His already-primed fanbase quickly took to the album, which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart. Fans also snapped up tickets as he hit the tour trail hard to support the set, performing concerts at theaters and large clubs with members of his A$AP Mob collective, a group of rappers, producers and others who joined forces in 2007 due to their shared sense of music, art and style. Born Rakim Mayers (named after the Eric B. & Rakim rapper) in Harlem, A$AP Rocky's smooth, slow flow is more heavily influenced by Southern rappers like UGK and Devin the Dude than by New York acts. He began rapping at age eight, and in his late teens turned to the skill as a way out of the lifestyle that had led to the murder of his brother and landed his father in prison. Now that he's a star in his own right and the ringleader of one of hip-hop's most influential collectives, it appears he's found the way.