Many of us know A$AP Rocky as an LSD-taking, panty-dropping, "fashion killa" pretty boy lyricist. But appearing to be no more than that is exactly what's put him at the forefront of controversy recently, so the rapper stopped by The Breakfast Club yesterday to clear the air.
Earlier this week, quotes from a 2015 interview with TimeOut New York resurfaced in which A$AP, when asked about his lack of involvement in politics and social activism, gave a seemingly insensitive and tone-deaf response: "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 shit because I don't live over there! I live in f—king Soho and Beverly Hills. I can't relate."
Now speaking to the Breakfast Club (whose hosts wouldn't let him off the hook easily), a more-visibly affected and frustrated A$AP promises his words were taken out of context but admits that he, like most of us, doesn't have the answers to the nation's ongoing issues and that he can only rap about his truth. Read an excerpt below:
"I just don't understand how they keep saying a dark-skinned nigga don't like black people and it's because you do interviews with these European reporters, journalists, who wanna make a name for themselves and they take your shit out of context…. Like, your favorite rappers today, I don't know if it's Thug, Future, Drake, anybody, like you don't always hear their content being about the political shit going on. I feel like, why put me on a pedestal for that especially when I'm not asking for that? Like, I wanna make music, I wanna inspire, I wanna promote peace, especially at a time like this. I don't have all the answers, I'm not tryna run for Congress, I'm not tryna run for office. I don't have all the answers. I wanna promote prosperity, especially for black people, especially for just young people, ambitious, underprivileged. I'm not here to talk about supremacy, I'm not here to talk about who's dominant. It's f—ked up...."
"I would love to change the world, I don't know where to start though. I actually don’t know what to do. It's like, 'you damned if you do, you damned if you don't'…. It's to the point where if we don't unify, how could you be militant or start a revolution? 'Pac was tryna do that before he died but you can't do it alone; that's why we got J. Cole, we got Kendrick who their whole thing is based off of touching on these subjects. And I just feel like you got eclectic artists such as A$AP Rocky or 'Pac being the first to venture off into high-end fashion, having Gianni Versace say, pause, he's the most beautiful man in the world, pause. And having Andre 3K be the eccentric person he is, and having Mos Def—like that kind of light is what I wanna represent because 'Pac didn't only put on for black men, because after he was dead and gone his legacy outlived what he was doing because he stood for something greater. And I think it was unity and I think it was self-awareness, especially at a time when black people were down and we didn't really know much about ourselves. Now that we got more awareness and we got more internet, I think this crab-in-a-barrel mentality do need to stop."
A$AP also talked to the Breakfast Club about interracial dating, racism in the fashion industry, his brother's death and, as a counterpoint to the claim that he cares so little about the nation's tragedies, his involvements in Alicia Keys' powerful #23Ways PSA and in an upcoming remake of the Black Eyed Peas' empowerment anthem "Where is the Love?"
Watch the video of A$AP Rocky's interview with The Breakfast Club below.