When A$AP Yams died unexpectedly in 2015, it sparked a great dealing of mourning. Though the founder of the A$AP Mob collective didn't have the levels of mainstream fame as cohorts like A$AP Rocky or A$AP Ferg, he still left an indelible mark on the group. Yams was "the group's aesthetic and spiritual center." Yams was a visionary who did not try to align with predetermined ideas about what he could and couldn't be. As David Drake writes in Pitchfork, "There wasn't a space for what he did, so he created one." As a symbol of individualism and self-expression, the loss of Yams has been profoundly felt.
"He was like the Great Gatsby," A$AP Rocky said in regards to Yams in an interview with the New York Times, following his death. He recalled the night of Yams' death, spending the evening at Yams' Williamsburg apartment and finding him unconscious and his bed covered in vomit at 3 AM. The cause of death was later ruled as an accidental overdose.
Gone but not forgotten, on January 18th, Yams' legacy will be honored for the second time with a Yams Day memorial concert. Held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, this concert will feature a stacked lineup of rappers from Yams' home of New York and more.
Headlining the concert will be members of Yams' old crew, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg and the rest of the A$AP Mob. Also on the bill will be other New York rappers such as Joey Bada$$, Cam'ron, Flatbush Zombies, and Sha Hef. Other performers included at the concert will be Danny Brown (who was just announced as a Governors Ball performer) Retch, T-Pain, TDE and Tyler the Creator, who is said to be making a special appearance along with more artists that are to be announced.
The amount of New York rappers coming out for this event shows a strong amount of solidarity and support in the community. Even two years after Yams' death, rappers in New York are not forgetting about one of their lost brethren. Plus, all the artists coming in from other cities and the fans who will no doubt be traveling from other cities and states to watch the concert, is inspiring as well.
We hope that the 2nd Annual Yams Day Festival is a riveting success that brings together friends and fans of Yams in the best way possible. We hope that it is an indicator of how much strength can be had found through difficult times if they are shared. We hope that Yams himself would be touched by the tribute and wish he was still here with us.