Rapper A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been sitting in jail in Stockholm since July 3rd, detained on “probable grounds for serious assault”.
The 30-year-old rapper was defending himself after being harassed and attacked by two individuals in Sweden, yet claims of self-defense and video evidence proving his claim have gone unheeded.
Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian-West have asked Donald Trump for help in freeing Rocky. Trump has held conversations with Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, tweeting that talks were going well and that they would be speaking again in 48 hours; that was on July 20th.
President Trump and the First Lady just spoke on ASAP Rocky:
"We hope to get him home soon."pic.twitter.com/XKwwcKTjOw
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) July 19, 2019
Yet Toni Eriksson, a spokesman for Prime Minister Löfven, added some doubt to that claim, stating, “It is possible that there will be follow up calls but right now there is not one scheduled or planned.”
Sweden is making it clear that they won’t be playing any favorites regardless of who’s being detained or who’s on the other end of a call, obvious by their firm stance in detaining Rocky for almost three weeks in pretrial detention until July 25th.
“The Prime Minister made sure to point out that the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts, are completely independent,” said Eriksson. “He also pointed out that everyone is equal before the law and that the government neither can nor will try to influence the judicial process.”
While they won’t let outside forces interfere with their judicial process, many wouldn’t consider it much of a process when a man can be detained for self-defense without the opportunity for bail based upon video evidence. Unfortunately for Rocky, Sweden does not have a system of bail like the United States, which complicates matters even more.
Rocky’s blackness was thrown into the discussion, something Rocky, and his camp, have swiftly denied. According to TMZ, “our A$AP sources say he has made it clear to all in contact with him … he doesn’t think he’s being held because he’s black. That’s consistently been his story.”
Regardless of whether that’s true or not, it’s a smart stance to take as they don’t want to say, or do, anything that could further agitate the situation as that could lead to further disaster for Rocky.
But you can’t dismiss the issue of race in this case, not when you look at the case of G-Eazy, a white rapper who was arrested in Sweden for cocaine possession and assault, spending less than two days in jail and only being told to pay $9,000 after pleading guilty, after which he left the country. He even took to Twitter to say that race needs to be taken into account in Rocky’s case.
“This is the sad truth…The difference between me and Rocky’s treatment in Sweden brings to mind two concepts that disgustingly go hand in hand: white privilege and systemic racism. Let’s call it what it is. He should not be behind bars right now.”
This is the sad truth…The difference between me and Rocky’s treatment in Sweden brings to mind two concepts that disgustingly go hand in hand: white privilege and systemic racism. Let's call it what it is. He should not be behind bars right now. My heart goes out to @asvpxrocky pic.twitter.com/PHDrKsfiUF
— G-Eazy (@G_Eazy) July 20, 2019
The case of A$AP Rocky is a little more complex than many want to admit.
You have the White House involved yet the Swedish government is giving Trump a mini-Heisman on his involvement. You have the discussions of race, as a Black rapper has been held 20 more days than a white rapper who committed more serious offenses. Then you have Black Twitter digging up old statements from Rocky himself that have many backpedaling in their support for the jailed rapper.
As of now, July 25th is the day that all have circled on their calendars. Will he be released then or will something else transpire? All we can do now is wait and see.