Like many celebrities who wrongly employ the phrase as a means of evading responsibility for their actions, A$AP Rocky doesn’t seem to know exactly what “taken out of context” means. There are not many ways to interpret, “What the f–k am I, Al Sharpton now? I’m A$AP Rocky. I did not sign up to be no political activist.” It’s a sentiment as clear as the color of the sky in Los Angeles on a relatively smogless day.
The same goes for the rest of the quote: “I wanna talk about my motherf–kin’ lean, my best friend dying, the girls that come in and out of my life, the jiggy fashion that I wear, my new inspirations in drugs! I don’t wanna talk about no f–king Ferguson and s–t because I don’t live over there! I live in f–king Soho and Beverly Hills. I can’t relate. I’m in the studio; I’m in these fashion studios; I’m in these bitches’ drawers. I’m not doing anything outside of that. That’s my life.”
Some of us knew of his 2015 TimeOut interview when it was first published. Despite Rocky’s claim in an interview Wednesday with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, reading the TimeOut interview in full will do little to alleviate any frustrations with his thought process. And before that radio interview, the Harlem rapper, who now lives in “f–king Soho and Beverly Hills,” said something equally clueless while speaking before the Debate Society of Oxford University. During that conversation, Rocky said, “Why are we exploiting the beef between the urban community and the police force when 60 people got shot on a Friday and Saturday [on a July 2014 holiday weekend] in Chicago in black-on-black crime?”
A$AP Rocky’s issue is not that he was misquoted or that his remarks were received differently than intended; it’s that his words have come back to haunt him several months later. They haunt him because as state-sanctioned violence against black people in this country continues to happen, those who enjoy a platform but do not advocate on behalf of black people are widely viewed as part of the problem. In his more recent radio interview, Rocky did not so much offer clarity about previous comments made as he tried to parse his words.
In his initial response to the social media pile-on, he took to Twitter to take shots at those finding the TimeOut interview late, though he did now acknowledge “all this social injustice makes me f–king sick, tho I’m still no politician.”
Read the rest at The Root.