One of this summer’s strangest convergences of music and politics involved the incarceration of A$AP Rocky in Sweden on what many onlookers thought to be trumped-up assault charges. To recap: In early July, Rocky and his entourage were filmed beating up a man who had been following them on the streets of Stockholm. He was promptly arrested and charged with assault, pleading not guilty and testifying that he acted in self-defense. All the while the US State Department, the Congressional Black Caucus, and even Donald Trump spoke out on Rocky’s behalf, as did a wealth of his friends from the music industry. One of his stans even got arrested for threatening to blow up the Swedish embassy.
Rocky was released at the beginning of August at the conclusion of his trial, and a verdict is expected this Wednesday. The US has urged Sweden that there could be “negative consequences” for detaining him further. In the meantime, as Pitchfork points out, Rocky performed his first show since the whole ordeal Sunday at the Real Street festival in Anaheim. He spoke about his imprisonment and brought out Tyler, The Creator — who famously said he’ll never travel to Sweden again because of what happened to Rocky — to perform “Who Dat Boy.”
Rocky’s comments to the crowd:
Y’all know how happy I am to be here right now. I wanna say this though. When I was away — hold the mosh please, this a sentimental moment! — what I experienced was crazy. It was a scary, humbling experience, but I’m here right now, God is good. People who ain’t even fuck with me felt sympathy. People was praying for me, that uplifted me when my spirits was low. I can’t thank y’all enough, man, that was crazy. Hip-hop never looked so strong together.
YouTube user Irma Hernandez posted 23 minutes of Rocky’s set, including his speech and Tyler’s guest spot. Tyler appears around the 13-minute mark, and Rocky’s speech follows at the 18-minute mark. Watch below.