Photo of A$AP Rocky by Dexter Navy
After facing criticism for recently declining to speak out about political issues and police brutality, A$AP Rocky on Wednesday attempted to clear the air, apologizing for not taking certain issues "seriously" enough until now.
Pointing to police shootings and the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency, the rapper said it wasn't until this year that he really began paying attention.
“I wanna talk about the fucked-up shit in my life, not that fucked-up shit I see on TV. Because I’m not there," Rocky said in an interview last year with New York's Time Out. "How am I gonna talk about something I’m not helping?," he asked, adding: "I did not sign up to be no political activist. I wanna talk about my motherfuckin' 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 fucking Ferguson and shit because I don't live over there! I live in fucking SoHo and Beverly Hills. I can't relate.”
In an interview with the Breakfast Club today, Rocky said, "I would love to change the world. I don't know where to start though." He went on to say he felt other artists were better suited for such tasks: "That's why we got J. Cole, we got Kendrick [Lamar], who—their whole thing is touching on these subjects."
He also said that, while he believes in promoting justice for all ethnicities, he gets upset when "the bandwagon stuff start," referencing some who rally around the Black Lives Matter movement after police-involved shootings. "I mean, how come ... black lives only matter when a police take ’em, when a police officer takes it? And it should be like, blacks lives—it should matter when a black life take it. You know what I mean? It should always matter. All lives matter!"
In a rather awkward transition, Rocky suggested that people look at the full scope of his career rather than what's said in single interviews, likening his critics to those of Bill Cosby.
"You just read a quick little article and it’s like, my whole legacy—I could do things and it’s just like with Bill Cosby," he said. "He did so much positive things leading up to one thing ... All you remember is the 56 woman and all that kind of shit."
When the MC was reminded of the gravity of that many accusers coming forward against Cosby, he doubled down: "Look, I'm not his lawyer, but I do know he's innocent," he insisted. "In the eyes of the law, they said he's innocent ... All we know is that he was accused."
In fairness to Rocky, at multiple points in today's interview, he emphasized that he is not politically inclined and struggles with keeping up with current events, but some of these latest statements will likely keep the controversy around even longer.
Watch the full Breakfast Club interview below.