As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to decry police brutality and America’s broken justice system, artists have come under fire for their responses — or lack thereof. One rapper in particular, A$AP Rocky, found himself in the Internet’s crosshairs for comments he made nearly a year ago. In an interview with Time Out in 2015, the Harlem native declared: “I don’t wanna talk about no f**king Ferguson and s**t because I don’t live over there! I live in f**king Soho and Beverly Hills. I can’t relate.” But according to one of his fellow A$AP Mob members, there is more to these situations than meets the eye.
At this year’s Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago, A$AP Ferg offered insight on artists’ difficulty with speaking out. Citing humble beginnings — and in some cases, a previous life of crime — Rocky’s A$AP Mob cohort said it comes down to the money for some of his peers. He was also quick to note that everyone, not just rappers, are struggling to find the right words.
“There might be an artist that just came from a really bad situation. He might’ve been selling drugs or whatever to support his family. The last thing he wants to do is say something about politics that’s gonna take all of his money and food off of his table,” Ferg said. “And maybe, he might be doing things behind the scenes. But he don’t wanna go out and say that on public display.”
Ferg himself laments the state of the nation, and has taken to his music to express his discontent. On his latest album, Always Strive And Prosper, a track titled “Beautiful People” finds the rapper pleading for peace. During the discussion of the movement and a perceived lack of solidarity, the rapper’s own words came to mind: “Beautiful people let's take a second and think / We continue these issues our ship will drown and we sink.”
Watch A$AP Ferg discuss artists and Black Lives Matter in the video above.