byÂ Paul Resnikoff
A$AP Rocky is drawing heat for criticizingÂ Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter has now become a groupthink â€˜bandwagon,â€™ according to A$AP Rocky. Â The rapper, undeterred by heavy criticism for failing to fully supportÂ the movement, is also now defending the controversial â€˜All Lives Matterâ€™ counter-movement. Â â€œI hate when the bandwagon stuff start,â€A$AP Rocky said during an interview on radio station Power 105.1. Â â€œI mean, how come, you know, black lives only matter when a police take â€™em, when a police officer takes it? Â And it should be like, black lives, it should matter when a black life take it. Â You know what I mean?â€
â€œIt should always matter. All lives matter!â€
Rockyâ€™s comments reflect several criticisms of the Black Lives Matter campaign, though his support for â€˜All Lives Matterâ€™ could have ramifications. Â Earlier, M.I.A. lost her headlining slot at the Afropunk Festival for questioning whether Black Lives Matter should engageÂ other marginalized and impoverished groups, including Muslims and refugees. Â Prior to that, Remigio Pereira, a member of the singing group The Tenors, was removed from the group after changing the lyrics of the Canadian national anthem to include the â€˜All Lives Matterâ€™ slogan. Â The Tenors continued without Pereira, while a number of venues canceled their performances on allegations of racism.
â€œI canâ€™t relate.â€
A$AP Rockyâ€™s stance is actually stronger than those of both M.I.A and Pereira. Â The rapper recently weathered heavy criticismÂ for comments made to Time Out in 2015, an interview that resurfaced Â recently. Â â€œI donâ€™t wanna talk about no fucking Ferguson and shit because I donâ€™t live over there,â€ Rocky proclaimed. Â â€œI live in fucking SoHo and Beverly Hills. I canâ€™t relate.â€
Initially, the rapper questioned why a comment from 2015 was generating such a strong response, while pointing to a misquote. Â Sadly, A$AP Rocky had been mourning the death of ASAP Yams at the time, a founding member of the A$AP Mob collective. Â Yams, real nameÂ Steven Rodriguez, died in January of 2015 after a drug overdose, and A$AP Rocky indicated that his comments were clouded by the loss.
But those concerns aside, A$AP still questioned whether people were rushing to judgment on the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Â â€œPeople donâ€™t know what they talking about. They see what they read,â€ he said while declining to offer an opinion on a community far from his own. Â â€œI donâ€™t go to middle American cities. Weâ€™re in the major markets.â€
Meanwhile, other artists have been more staunchly supportive of Black Lives Matter, including Ice Cube and Beyonce. Â Just recently, Ice Cube refused to stop performing â€˜F*ck Tha Police,â€™ despite a surge in assassinations against law enforcement officers.
But A$AP seems undeterred by controversy, on this and other topics. Â During the same interview, the rapper also defended Bill Cosby as innocent and unfairly tarred. Â â€œLook, Iâ€™m not his lawyer, but I do know heâ€™s innocent,â€ A$AP continued. Â â€œIn the eyes of the law, they said heâ€™s innocent. You get what Iâ€™m saying? So, nobody talks about that. You get what Iâ€™m saying? All we know is that he was accused, he allegedly raped however many woman he raped, which, you got, itâ€™s so much issues in the world, you know Iâ€™m saying?â€