ASAP Yams’ Mother Wants Hip-Hop to Pay Attention to Drug Addiction
Steven Rodriguez, better known as A$AP Yams, the manager and strategist for the A$AP Mob movement, would have turned 28 years old on Sunday (Nov. 13). Yams passed away in January of 2015 from what was later revealed to be an "acute mixed drug intoxication" which included opiates and benzodiazepine. In Yams' memory, his mother, Tatianna Paulino, penned a piece for Noisey, asking for the dangers of opioid use to be more widely discussed.
Paulino writes that in the 22 months following Yams' death she gave herself an education on lean, meeting with Columbia University Professor and drug expert Dr. Carl Hart. She says that her son was feeling uneasy about the transition A$AP was making from friends to business partners and thought that he used drugs as a strategy to decompress and release. She references the deaths of DJ Screw and Pimp C, who died of similar causes, noting that combining lean with other drugs can produce fatal results.
"Was he aware of the potential dangers of mixing opioids with other sedatives? I certainly wasn't," she writes. "Even if it makes us uncomfortable, I wish public health messages about drugs were more clear and simple in emphasizing real concerns as oppose to hyping less likely outcomes."
She continues: "To be clear, I recognize that parents, including me, should discourage drug use. But, you should also know that my son wanted to get high, not die. And because this is the case for many young people, whether we like it or not, we should do all we can do to keep them safe and alive. It's the humane thing to do."
A$AP Mob recently honored Yams with the release of Cozy Tapes: Vol 1, which Yams had been putting together before his death and features the fallen leader in his youth on the cover.
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