ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- Happy birthday to Rakim Mayers, better known by his stage name ASAP Rocky (stylized as A$AP Rocky).
The rapper, record producer and director was born Oct. 3, 1988 and turns 28 on Monday. His parents named him Rakim as a nod to the legendary Rakim, of Eric B. & Rakim fame.
He was born in Harlem and later moved to Elmwood Park with his mother.
Rocky started rapping at the age of 8, when he moved to Harrisburg, Penn. and joined the ASAP Mob crew, a Harlem-based collective of rappers, producers, music video directors, fashion designers and bikers, in 2007.
When he was 12, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs and a year later, his older brother was killed, which inspired him to take rapping seriously. His father died in 2012.
His 2011 critically-acclaimed debut mixtape "Live. Love. A$AP," led to a record deal with Polo Grounds Music, RCA Records and Sony Music Entertainment.
His 2013 debut album "Long. Live. A$AP," debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. He has also directed music videos for himself, Danny Brown and other A$AP Mob members.
In 2015, Rocky released his sophomore album's lead single, "Pretty Flacko 2" and he performed with The Roots on "The Tonight Show."
Guess released a collaboration with him called GUE$$ in February 2016, which was inspired by his admiration for the brand's vintage '90s clothing that he wore while growing up.