A$AP Rocky has provided clarity towards his previous comments on the Black Lives Matter movement and shared how Meek Mill played an important role in easing his frustrations over his arrest in Sweden.
In a recent interview with Kerwin Frost, the Harlem native recalled his decision not to speak about racial tensions in the United States during the police-related deaths of unarmed black teens like Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Rocky now says he chose not to speak about it because he wasn’t knowledgeable about the matters unlike peers like J. Cole, who protested alongside residents in Ferguson.
“In those old interviews, I used to say ‘I think it’s inappropriate for me to rap about things I didn’t help with,'” he said. “I felt like when it came to Ferguson, J. Cole went down there and he actually was on the news and he helped. I felt like he deserved to rap about it. So when someone [asks] me that in 2015 I’m like: ‘I just feel, personally, if I’m in SoHo or I’m here I can’t even talk on that’… That’s appropriating. … It’s not sincere. It’s pretentious.” Rocky’s comments about BLM resurfaced during his time behind bars in Sweden with some critics choosing not to support the rapper because of it. Rocky shared how people were “trying to stir up some weird shit” while he was unable to defend himself.
But someone who remained in his corner was Meek Mill, who tried to help him see the bigger picture.
“I think what happened was real unfortunate. Wrong place, wrong time type s**t,” he said about his arrest in Sweden. The rapper and members of his entourage were detained in Stockholm for his alleged role in a street brawl with young fans. While footage showed the fans following Rocky and his crew, the rapper was found guilty of assault with time served. “I was talking to Meek, I was talking to a few people and they were like ‘It goes to show you that even with money that s**t can happen to you.'” he said. “That experience just had me in jail thinking like ‘Was I wrong? Damn, maybe I am wrong. Damn, maybe it is my fault.’ You be in solitary confinement for so long.”
Meek Mill spoke on behalf of Rocky several times during his detainment, calling for his release. “I went to prison for a fight in America the same way that A$AP Rocky did,” Mill told Rolling Stone in July 2018. “I was in the airport, someone swung on a crew member and we defended ourselves. When it was time to go to court, the judge revoked my probation and gave me two to four years [in prison]. It’s all based on the same thing: not being treated fairly. Being a rapper is just a little bit harder because we have a certain type of title.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Rocky shared how he met the late A$AP Yams, his fallout with SpaceGhostPurpp and his journey in fashion.
Read our review of Rocky’s hometown performance at Rolling Loud’s New York show here.