From his encouraging single, “L.L.B.B.” still getting spins on playlists to finally releasing his debut album, 12, A$AP Twelvyy had a prosperous 2017. And he’s not done yet. Staying true to the A$AP slogan, a pseudonym meaning always strive and prosper, the 28-year-old rapper is all about constant mind elevation.
Now that the “Diamonds” rapper’s finances are better than those minimum wage checks he used to earn as a Best Buy employee, 12vyy is looking for new ways to build wealth. And one way he does that is by reading books. A quick survey of 12vyy’s Instagram page, and one is likely to find engrossing books like Assata: An Autobiography by Assasta Shakur, Black Joy, Poor Black and in Real Trouble by Jerome Wright, and Kenyatta’s Last Hit by Donald Goines, among others.
“I’ve been discipling my mental and my mind. I want to have kids someday. I want to sit them down and teach them, but how do you relate these messages to a six year old? Some of this stuff is too advanced,” 12vyy said.
It’s January in Brooklyn. So, it’s cold outside. Despite the brutal NYC weather, the rapper born Jamel Phillips made the trek out to Ft. Greene, Brooklyn to meet with VIBE at Greenlight Bookstore. While there, we talked over important reads like The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, and The Radical King edited by Cornell West. 12vyy also discussed some of his favorite books such as Decoded (JAY Z), Monster (Walter Dean Myers), and Knoweldge of Self: A Collection of Wisdom on the Science of Everything in Life (Supreme Understanding).
“I was stuck on the frivolous bullshit that doesn’t mean much,” 12vyy admitted. “Get off the B.S. We have to stop killing each other and we have to stop killing our minds. That’s not to say that you have to be on full geek or nerd mode, but take forty-five minutes out your day and read a little.”
Watch the video above.