Asap Rocky is GUILTY

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

By now, I’m sure everyone has read about, or is aware of, the Asap Rocky situation in Sweden: American rapper Asap Rocky was on his European tour, and after performing in Stockholm he was out on the town with his entourage. After being continuously followed and subsequently harassed by some people, the actor and his friends attacked them and beat them up. Asap was later detained and has now been charged with assault, facing trial in Sweden and risking up to two years in prison.

The situation has garnered a lot of attention globally. The hashtag #FreeRocky has been trending for over two weeks during the two investigation of the case by Swedish authorities, and a few of Asap’s rapper colleagues have claimed they will “boycott Sweden” because of his situation.

In addition, President Donald Trump tweeted that he called the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to discuss the case.

Adding another aspect to an already tricky situation is the fact that Asap Rocky made controversial comments about the “Black Lives Matter” movement a few years ago — comments that are now being used ridicule him on social media.

The whole situation appears to be very multi-faceted and complex — when in fact most of it is just absurdities and ridiculousness:

Asap

Let’s start with the actual crime and subsequent detention. Asap Rocky assaulted the person following him — that is a fact, and there is no way around that. Some argue for self-defense, which is fair point. However, following a person is not a crime unless you are told to stop and you don’t, and then it becomes a crime known as harassment. If Asap felt he was being harassed, he should have either a) called the police, or b) let his security do the job for which they get paid. He is in a foreign country, and should have been more cautious.

In Sweden, you can’t just beat people up in the street because they harass you. In addition, Asap really overdid the assault, causing some fairly significant injuries to the victim. Had he merely thrown a punch to scare the guy off, the case would be presented very differently.

Boycotting Sweden

The entire endeavor of artists and fans claiming they will “boycott Sweden” is pretty dumb. Artists that actually follow through on promises to never return here are hurting their own careers, and alienating a large part of their fan base. Whilst hip-hop artists are not as popular as in the US, Sweden is still a great audience that knows and appreciates the genre.

In addition, a boycott is only warranted if there had been unfair treatment of Asap — but there was none (more on this in “The comments” section). Asap caused this whole situation himself.

The Trump

Donald Trump getting involved in this case is nothing but a PR-stunt in the larger scheme of his reelection campaign. Trump does not care for minorities — he’s been openly racist so many times it’s hard to keep track. Asap Rocky is rich; he’s part of the one percent, a societal group that Trump loves and wholeheartedly supports. Asap is also famous, a quality Trump is drawn to.

If Donald Trump had cared about the situation, he wouldn’t have tweeted about calling the Swedish Prime minister, and he wouldn’t have tweeted about the phone call not leading to Asaps release from jail, and Trump being disappointed in Sweden. If Trump cared, he would have read up about Swedish law, expressed his concern to the media, but done nothing — as Sweden does not have a bail system, and there is nothing he could have said or done to get Asap released (short of threatening to start a war).

Instead, he used the situation to his own benefit; to win over some minority voters.

The comments

A few years ago, after the Ferguson shooting, Asap Rocky was asked to comment on the situation in an interview with Time Out. He proclaimed that he didn’t want to talk about it, and that he “could not relate” because he “lives in SoHo and Beverly Hills”. The comments caused controversy with the Black Lives Matter movement, and Asap merely made the situation worse a year later when he tried to smooth things over with the comment “all lives matter”.

As the situation in Sweden has unfolded, people have called out Asap yet again for those comments, and have described his jailing as poetic justice (no doubt hoping for a sudden change in his mindset).

However, the two situations have very little in common.

  • Asap was not a victim of police brutality (he turned himself in).
  • Asap was not discriminated against by authorities because of his race.
  • Asap was not unfairly charged with a crime he did not commit — because he did it!

All three of those circumstances have been common themes in American crime-fighting and execution of the law. This situation has nothing to do with BLM, and it does not change anything for Asap or the movement as a whole. As such, the people trying to connect his previous, admittedly blunt, comments with this criminal investigation are manufacturing a controversy where there should be none.

Asap will now stand trial in Sweden for the crime he’s been charged with, and will receive a fair sentence. Stop fueling this ill-conceived controversy, please.

🇸🇪Stockholm 📚University of Texas at Arlington Alum

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Joel Durén

Joel Durén

🇸🇪Stockholm 📚University of Texas at Arlington Alum

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