The family of A$AP Rocky has appealed to the Rev. Al Sharpton to help free the rapper and his associates being held in a Swedish jail over allegations surrounding a street fight in Stockholm earlier this month. While the rapper remained locked up as of Friday morning, it was his previous comments about social justice activism that had some people finding irony in the rapper’s fate possibly being in the hands of Sharpton, a civil rights icon.
Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, as well as the family of the two other men also detained, met on Thursday with Sharpton, whose National Action Network issued a press release saying the reverend was seeking Rocky’s release. The press release also called on members of Congress to demand the State Department not only intervene but also allow Sharpton to visit Rocky as a minister. A petition that was previously started said there were deplorable conditions at the Swedish detention center where Rocky was being held.
“Reports of the conditions in ASAP’s jail cell and violation of his consular visitation rights are concerning,” Sharpton said. “We at [National Action Network] are appealing directly to the Swedish authorities for complete transparency and ASAP’s swift return home.”
The press release also noted that Sharpton believed that Rocky was acting in self-defense.
Sharpton’s words came about three years after Rocky invoked the reverend’s name in connection to social justice activism as a decided example of something he had no interest in being a part of.
During a 2016 interview with “The Breakfast Club” radio show, Rocky appeared to distance himself from social justice issues and the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole.
“So every time something happens because I’m Black I gotta stand up? What the fuck am I, Al Sharpton now? I’m A$AP Rocky. I did not sign up to be no political activist,” Rocky said at the time. “I don’t wanna talk about no fucking Ferguson and shit because I don’t live over there! I live in fucking 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.”
Black Twitter had a lot to say about Rocky’s past comments and the irony of his current situation like the below user.
According to a comprehensive timeline provide by Pitchfork, Rocky — real name Rakim Mayer, 30 — had been on a European tour when the fight broke out on June 30, with local media blaming the rapper. The very next day TMZ published the video of the fight, which purportedly showed Rocky and his entourage fighting against one other person. It also showed several men accused of Rocky and his crew of breaking a pair of headphones. The men followed them after making the accusation and a brawl ensued after a woman accused Rocky of sexual harassment.
Another video appeared to show Rocky trying to make peace before the fight started.
That led to Rocky posting videos to his Instagram account claiming he was “INNOCENT.”
Rocky reportedly surrendered to local authorities on July 2, when he “and his colleagues were arrested on-site,” the petition said. They were ultimately ordered to be kept in detention during a mandatory two-week investigation. As a result, Rocky has missed multiple tour dates as a result amid allegations that Swedish authorities were preventing him from meeting with American diplomatic officials. “Upon being detained, Rocky was denied his request to counsel which is in violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Sweden is a signatory,” the petition said.
After the conclusion of an investigation that could take two weeks, it will be determined if Rocky will face charges and have to go to trial.