ASAP Rocky‘s apparent trail of self destruction has continued this week, following a new interview in response to controversial statements he made about the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The issue began when a 2015 interview resurfaced, in which he complained about the fact that people seem to expect him to comment on the movement because he’s black. “I’m A$AP Rocky. I did not sign up to be no political activist.” He recently responded to the criticism in a series of tweets, including the comments, “All this social injustice makes me fukin sick, tho Im still no politician,” “… [you’re saying] Im dumb n dont care about blacks” and “fuk all these cops killin the urban youth dem, n fuk all talh niggas for dick ridin on bash rocky day, LMAO.”
Rocky took to The Breakfast Club yesterday for a new interview, but his comments about the topic didn’t exactly clear the air.
“I wanna clear the air,” he begins. “I feel like that whole interview was taken out of context… I feel terrible as a black man, as an American. This Donald Trump… is… I just don’t understand how they saying a dark skinned n**ga don’t like black people.” He goes on to criticise the journalist, and to explain that other big artists like Drake and Future aren’t necessarily writing political rap songs. “Why put me on a pedestal?”
“I want to inspire. I want promote peace, because at a time like this, I don’t have all the answers. I’m not trying to run for Congress. I’m not trying to run for office. I don’t have all the answers, you know what I’m saying?”
In response to a comment about how celebrities are looked up to, hence why he gets asked to comment, he then says, “That’s why I’m here today. When it comes to stuff like this I usually try to save it for the music, or try to speak about it when I’m asked about it, but I need to speak out.”
It’s kind of clear that he doesn’t really have his ear to the ground when it comes to politics and the recent events happening around us all. And you know what? Nobody is forcing him to know. He’s right. Just because he’s black and famous doesn’t mean that he needs to be a spokesman for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. But that’s not really the point. We aren’t saying he needs to be informed and vocal because he’s a celebrity, we’re asking for his opinion because, well, these events happened and they’re important and terrifying. Being informed goes far beyond fame and celebrity. It’s one thing to not be a spokesman, it’s another to ignore it entirely.
In addition, the comments are a little confusing because he doesn’t address these issues in music or when asked – that’s the whole point.
“How come black lives only matter when a police officer takes it? It should matter when a black life takes it… It should always matter. All lives matter.”
Once again, he’s missed the point in the same way that others who say #AllLivesMatter have missed the point. We know all lives matter. We’re not saying other lives don’t matter. But right now, in the wake of these terrible incidents, incidents which highlight horrifyingly prevalent racism and racial profiling at a time when these issues really should not exist anymore, it’s important to focus on black lives. Black lives don’t only matter when footage surfaces of a police shooting. But when a black person is shot by an officer, that adds context and puts it in headlines, making it especially important to talk about at that particular point in time. Charlemagne compares the issue to ISIS to try and explain the issue.
Then he talks about how he doesn’t want to comment on the issue if he’s not physically there, in the country and that exact time.
“If I’m in London and something’s going on in LA and you asking me about it, I don’t wanna speak on that cos I wasn’t there. How can I speak on that? How can I contribute?”
Well, by this token, us here in Australia shouldn’t be talking about it because we’re not there. This just doesn’t make sense. That he feels that one can only comment on an issue if they were physically there to experience the atmosphere and that racism directly, is a confusing sentiment.
A$AP Rocky, nobody is saying you have to stand on a soapbox and have an opinion. But to retort with something like, “I’m no politician, I’m A$AP Rocky” is unnecessary and besides the point. I’m a white Australian and I have commented on #BlackLivesMatter, as have the many other white Australians around me who want to raise awareness, discuss the topic and protest in the streets.
Further down the interview it gets even stranger. After minute 17, ASAP Rocky decides to bring up none other than serial rapist Bill Cosby. “He did so much positive things leading up to one thing, which he was convicted of being innocent for, by the way, people don’t even speak about that, all you remember is the 56 women… he’s a powerful man. I’m not his lawyer, but I do know that he’s innocent – in the eyes of the law.”
In the eyes of the law. Because that’s the truth. Right?
Watch the full interview below.
Image: Danielle Hansen/ Howl & Echoes