Baltimore’s A$AP Ant Discusses The Riots: “Destroying The Community Is Not The Answer”


The devastation that happened to the city of Baltimore on Monday evening (Apr 27) will have a lasting impact on the communities of the troubled city for generations to come. In a deadly outcry against police brutality, hundreds of people rioted, looted businesses, attacked officers and burned down buildings in the Charm City.

The frustration and anger from the police-caused death of Freddie Gray proved to be the breaking point for B-more’s citizens. Unfortunately, taking matters into their own hands ended into one of the worst nights in Baltimore’s history. To get an inside opinion on the current state of the city, VIBE phoned A$AP Mob’s A$AP Ant, a native of the city, who was at home the when chaos began.

VIBE: Ant, you were actually in Baltimore when the riots started. Was it happening all over the city?
A$AP Ant: It wasn’t all over the whole city. Most of it was happening on the West side of Baltimore. But the looting looked like it shifted toward the East a little bit. The majority of the destruction was happening on the West side, though.

Most news outlets are painting the picture that “thugs” are over taking the city.
It’s mainly teenagers that’s messing the city up. There’s a lot of people that are little older — that’s actually trying to calm everybody down. It’s really the kids that are goin’ crazy, but we understand where the anger is all coming from. Baltimore been had tension with the cops.

How is it looking now?
Actually, what they’re not showing on TV is the people that are helping clean up their communities. The schools are shut down, sp there’s really a lot of kids, too, that are helping bring things back to normal today. Young people, too. Right now, people are out here trying to clean up the streets.

As a Baltimore native, how did it feel to see your city being looted and destroyed?
I feel the protesters, but breaking in and looting everything is stupid. You’re breaking into pharmacies and stealing, but a little kid might need his asthma pump today. What’s he going to do?

There’s a lot of pharmacies that got destroyed. I feel all the protesters and the positive things, but when you destroy your community, it takes years to rebuild. Why are we destroying somewhere we chill at every day. We really live here. It don’t make no sense, but that’s Baltimore. It’s been messed up here.

News outlets are also reporting that people are coming in from different areas and out of town to loot. Do you think that’s true based off what you’ve seen?
Nah, I don’t think that’s happening. People in Baltimore been talking about rioting. Even around when Mike Brown was killed, people here wanted to take it to the streets. Even if you look back at the 12 O’Clock Boys documentary, they show where the police killed a kid on the bike and got away with it. Police brutality has been going on in Baltimore for years, and all over the world.

Back to what you were saying, I think it’s really about reaching the kids.
Honestly, you got to understand the teens are influencing each other. The 14-year-olds see the 17-year-olds stealing shit and looting. They are just going to follow and do the same.

You’re from the community, so what do you want to say to all the kids out there?
Destroying the community is not the answer. We know everyone had enough and is frustrated with the police, but if we burn everything down… we got nothing left. People that owned them stores that were looted have families, too, so it’s just a cycle that never ends. I ain’t perfect, but there’s got to be positive protests. I don’t need to be ranting on Twitter, or anything. I’m really from here so I see it everyday.