ASAP Rocky Controversy

Much Ado About Nothing?

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ASAP Rocky Controversy

Arinjoy Das, '22

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            It all started in Stockholm, Sweden. ASAP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers), the renowned American rapper arrived to perform at the SMASH festival. But, four days before his performance, as Rocky was exploring the city of Stockholm, he was suddenly approached by two young Swedish citizens. The bodyguard of Rocky’s entourage had forced them to stay away from the rapper, but the two men wouldn’t budge. He got into an altercation with them. It turned into a brutal showdown. 

Rocky was taken into custody by police right after his performance. He was accused of aggravated assault and placed in a Swedish detention center. After the judge’s verdict of the case, Rocky was declared guilty of assault, but he won’t have to spend jail time.

            The imprisonment of the famous artist affected the music industry tremendously. The news of his arrest caught the attention of celebrities such as media personality Kim Kardashian West and rapper Jay-Z. Due to his arrest, his European tour was halted. Many artists such as Tyler, The Creator and Lil Yachty have sworn never to perform in Sweden after the imprisonment of the artist. 

Many others believe that Sweden isn’t responsible for what happened to ASAP Rocky. “It could have happened anywhere and could have happened to anyone,” commented Emma Patton, ‘22. She further mentioned that “the shooting that happened at the Ariana Grande concert didn’t stop other artists from performing at the venue.” Peter Nash, an English teacher who teaches 9th and 10th grade students, believes that “it’s important to recognize the fact that Sweden, as a nation, does not have a history of repressing and otherwise mistreating foreign visitors. If other artists genuinely think that ASAP Rocky has been done an injustice, they should feel free not to perform in Sweden.

            President Donald Trump pledged to bring back ASAP Rocky from his incarceration, saying on Twitter, “I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!” After many calls with the Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, Trump was able to get  Rocky out on bail. Although many believe that President Trump should be aware of what is happening to other American citizens, the general consensus is that he shouldn’t have announced the news of ASAP Rocky’s release  Twitter. “I think the way he did [this] was like a public stunt. It seemed political, but it wasn’t professional,” said Caitlyn Sweeney, ‘22.

            “The court has recognized that Rocky and his party were followed and harassed,” ASAP Rocky’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovic, said. In an Instagram post, Rocky described his experience in Sweden as “difficult and humbling”. “He was wrongfully arrested in a foreign country,” remarked Max Chandler, ‘22,  who thinks “Rocky is not guilty, because it was self-defense.”

            After the incident, ASAP Rocky has returned to the music world with his new single, “Babushka Boi”, a symbol of the notorious rapper moving on from his challenging time.