A$AP Rocky remembers the first album he bought. It was Rakim‘s The 18th Letter.
“I had an ultimatum. It was between that or the Mortal Kombat soundtrack,” A$AP Rocky says to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “You know Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, it was the homies. So I just figured I wanted to get the Mortal Kombat soundtrack and my brother was like, ‘Man, you’re tripping. Your name is Rakim.'”
The rapper, whose given name is Rakim Mayers, says he was about eight years old when he went to Tower Records in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his brother. He says he ended up purchasing the double tape cassette because the CD was too expensive. The second tape was The Book of Life with Eric B.
He says his favorite track from the tape was “Know the Ledge” and he proceeds to rap a few bars before reflecting on his experience.
“I followed up on this stuff,” he says. “I was really young because most people around that age don’t really listen to older rappers, but I had a reason to.”
Rocky says his brother wanted him to start finding his own lane in music.
“I’m so happy I listened to him,” he says. “I found out a lot.”
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