Over the last several months we’ve heard several rappers speak out against police brutality. From Kendrick Lamar to J. Cole, and even Lil Boosie, the issue is not one that has gone unnoticed by the hip hop community, especially in light of the the Black Lives Matter movement, which has mobilized people all over the globe during uprisings in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, and other cities across the nation.
Among the rappers who have been silent on the topic is A$AP Rocky, who feels that it’s not his place to speak on things of the kind. During a Q&A at Oxford University late last month, the 26-year-old Harlem rapper explained why he doesn’t get involved. “I don’t feel like anyone is obligated to talk about that kind of stuff unless they want to,” said Rocky. “I don’t feel like everybody has to be like Kendrick or talk about political things just to try to stand out. They don’t have to try to be like A$AP [and] talk about drugs, and cars and girls…religion, and stuff. We don’t have to talk about the same topics, and for me, I wasn’t there when [police brutality incidents] occurred, and on top of that, I didn’t go to any marches, I didn’t go to any protests. So, for me, I can’t speak on it because I’m not helping to change it.”
Pretty Flacko also theorized that the responses to police shootings versus black-on-black crime could be part of a government scheme. “It makes you think, what is the government really trying to hide? Why are we exploiting the beef between the urban community and police officers when in all reality during Memorial [Day] weekend, 60-some odd people got shot just on a Friday and Saturday. Sixty-some odd people in Chicago… [all incidents of] Black on Black crime."
“One cop shoots a Black person, let’s march, let’s protest, let’s promote our mixtapes on TV,…’cuz that’s what we’re doing. I feel like if you’re not going to talk about the main topic, don’t talk about it at all. We have to do something first, and it’s within us internally. We can’t blame the police officers. That kinda s***t is inevitable. I don’t justify cops killing kids, that’s so messed up. There are guilty cops out there that take advantage of [their] authority, but that’s been going on. Why now, why are we making a big spectrum out of it now? What are we really hiding? If we’re going to talk about that, let’s talk about the Black people killing Black people. If nobody wants to talk about that, neither do I.”
Rocky spoke to the dissipation of racism as well, sharing similar views to his A$AP Mob homie, A$AP Ferg. “Hopefully things like racism will be gone soon,” he sad. “I don’t think my generation is necessarily racist, I think we’re just capable of saying racist stuff, and we get judged for that.”
The talk also included Rocky’s views breaking into the music industry, branding, and his rumored affiliation with the Illuminati.
See more on police brutality below, in the BET News special What's at Stake.
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