A$AP Rocky has revisited the furore that was caused by controversial comments he made in 2015 about the Ferguson, Missouri protests and the emergence of Black Lives Matter movement.
The rapper was first criticised after telling Time Out in September 2015 that he didn’t see why he needed to “feel compelled” to rap about the protests and waves of unrest which followed the police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson in August 2014.
“I’m not about to say that I was down there throwing rocks at motherfuckers, getting pepper-sprayed. I’d be lying. Is it because I’m black? What the fuck, am I Al Sharpton now?” Rocky said in the Time Out interview.
“I’m A$AP Rocky. I did not sign up to be no political activist,” he continued, before adding: “I live in fucking Soho and Beverly Hills. I can’t relate. I go back to Harlem, it’s not the same. It’s a sad story. I gotta tell you the truth.”
Rocky faced a fresh backlash in 2016 after those comments resurfaced online, with some members of the BLM movement among those to criticise the rapper for his choice of words and his subsequent refusal to apologise.
Speaking to YouTuber Kerwin Frost in a new interview that you can see above, Rocky said that he was still experiencing the ramifications from his Ferguson comments while he was in jail in Sweden last summer.
“I thought I addressed that before in the past, and just to be in jail hearing people still trying to stir up some weird shit…” he recalled.
“What I will say though is in those old interviews I used to say shit like: ‘I think it’s inappropriate for me to rap about things I didn’t help with,’” Rocky continued. “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 ask 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, like, appropriating… It’s not sincere. It’s pretentious.”
Rocky returned to Sweden last month to perform a show five months on from his arrest and subsequent imprisonment in the country.