Celebrities and activists are demanding that Swedish officials release rapper A$AP Rocky from prison in Sweden.
The rapper was detained in Sweden after he was accused of assault. A petition that has been circulating to release him from the prison states that on June 30, the rapper and his bodyguard, along with two other performers, were harassed and assaulted by two men.
The rapper posted two videos to Instagram of the men following his bodyguard and the other two performers. Rocky can be heard saying that he did not want any trouble with the men and that they kept following him. In one of the videos, one of the men can be seen hitting Rocky’s bodyguard in the face with headphones.
“The group of men continued to follow and harass Rocky and his colleagues, asking for money, and began grabbing Rocky and the others. This led Rocky and his colleagues to act in self-defense to avoid any further physical harm,” the petition read. “On Tuesday, July 2, Rocky volunteered to go to police headquarters after his performance for questioning about this incident. Rocky and his colleagues were arrested on-site.”
An appeal was filed on July 8 with the Swedish Supreme Court to have the rapper released from prison. The petition states that the filing was rejected and Rocky will have to stay in prison for another two weeks.
“Everyone has the same rights to be treated fairly upon detainment and should be given fair and equal access to such rights. Since, he has been allowed to visit with a U.S. Embassy [Consul] and attorney, but only in the presence of Swedish officials,” the petition read. “It is extremely troubling and worrisome that the laws are not being applied equally in these circumstances.”
The petition also stated that the conditions of the prison are “horrific.” In an interview with BBC, governor of the jail, Fredrik Wallin, denied those claims and stated that the rapper is being held in “good conditions.”
As of July 10, the petition has already garnered 415,000 signatures and many celebrities and activists have also demanded the release of the rapper. Rocky’s manager, John Ehmann, asked his followers to join the #JusticeforRocky movement to help free the rapper from the Swedish prison.
“For a man that has not been proven guilty to go through these conditions, while visiting a country to headline their festival, is troublesome. To keep Rocky and his colleagues in jail is punishment before due process,” Ehmann wrote on Instagram on July 9.
Celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael B. Jordan, Post Malone, Kris Jenner, Rapper Juicy J and many others have demanded that Rocky be released. Rappers Tyler, the Creator and Schoolboy Q have tweeted that they would not return to Sweden due to the incident.
“No more Sweden for me, ever,” Tyler, the Creator tweeted on July 8.
no more sweden for me, ever
— Tyler, The Creator (@tylerthecreator) July 8, 2019
Shortly after, Schoolboy Q tweeted that he would also never visit the country again.
Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, grew up in Harlem, New York. His first single, “Peso,” was leaked in 2011 and was played on the Hot 97 New York radio station, The New York Times previously reported. He released his second album in 2015 titled At. Long. Last. A$SAP. He has three top 10 hits on the Billboard charts, including his songs “No Limit,” and “F— Problems.”
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.