A$AP Rocky has plenty to look forward to this year, including the release of his sophomore album, A.L.L.A., but 2015 began on a painful note for the Harlem rapper, with the sudden death of A$AP Yams -- the creative mastermind behind the A$AP Mob, and someone who he will always remember as a brother.
News of Yams' death sent shockwaves across the rap community on Jan. 18, when members of the mob confirmed that the 26-year-old, born Steven Rodriguez, had passed away. His cause of death was only revealed late last week, when the coroner's report detailed that drugs, including opiates and benzodiazepine were in his system.
Before Yams passed, he and Rocky were working on both A.L.L.A. and an A$AP Mob album, but now the "Multiply" MC would be willing to trade it all to have his best friend back.
On Thursday, Mar. 19, before performing at a Samsung SXSW event, Rocky opened up about the night Yams died during a candid discussion with MTV News inside of a home that he rented in Austin, Texas.
"I just lost my brother. F--k all this music sh-t. When it comes down to it, would I trade this music for Yams? Yes," he admitted. "Because in all reality. Yams is the only person that's actually been through this sh-t with me and knows how I feel."
Rocky explained that Yams was admitted to a rehabilitation facility last summer, while he recorded music for his new album in London, but things took a turn for the worse shortly after that.
"By August, it was just me and Yams out there, and we were working, and he started getting back on his blackout boy sh-t," Rocky recalled, deflating as the words came out.
"Everything comes with consequences. I lost my brother."
For Rocky, Yams provided a support system that existed way before the money and the fame.
"[Yams] was my partner in this sh-t. He's the person I knew when I was broke, that was helping me when we didn't know what was going to happen. So many people are willing to help and contribute when they are guaranteed to be compensated," he said. "He didn't know what was going to happen. He only had faith in me just as much as I had faith in myself."
Rocky acknowledges Yams' struggle with drugs, but believes that his sleep apnea complicated things further.
"He choked on his vomit. He suffocated on his vomit in his sleep. If it was drugs in his body or not, he still suffocated off his vomit," Rocky revealed, before detailing other difficulties with apnea that Yams had throughout the years.
"I remember one time my manager wanted to get him a face [mask] for when you sleep because he would be choking on his own tongue. And this ain't me justifying it."
Yams acknowledged his battle with drug addiction too -- he openly apologized for promoting it, and explained that he was trying to quit -- but in the weeks that followed his death members of the mob denied that an overdose was the cause.
Now, Rocky gives a warning to those who abuse pills and prescription meds. "Yams -- that was what he did. He got high. But to all those kids that's out there on the Xanax and Oxycontin, and all that other sh-t, I'm not about to sit here and tell you 'Don't do that' -- you know what you're not supposed to be doing."