Rapper A$AP Rocky addressed backlash he received on social media last week after a viral meme renewed controversy over a Time Out New York interview the rapper gave in September 2015, where he appeared to be dismissive of racial issues in America.
“And what I was really trying to say then was I hate when it’s bandwagon stuff start. I mean, how come black lives only matter when police take it? It should always matter,” the rapper said Wednesday during an interview with The Breakfast Club.
“All lives matter, you know what I’m saying?” the rapper added.
Rocky apologized to those offended by the way his interview was perceived and insisted that his words were “taken out of context.”
“I feel terrible as a black man and as an American,” he said.
The meme, posted below, began circulating on social media at the same time that police shootings were once against leading national news.
“So every time something happens because I’m black I gotta stand up? What the f**k am I, Al Sharpton now?” the rapper told Time Out New York at the time. “I’m A$AP Rocky. I did not sign up to be no political activist.”
asap rocky cancelled. ungrateful rat. i'm disgusted pic.twitter.com/bORhTuLdHb
— ️ (@phreshoutofdebt) July 15, 2016
During his interview Wednesday on The Breakfast Club, the 27-year-old said he wants to affect change but added he doesn’t have all the answers.
“I would love to change the world. I don’t know where to start, though,” he said. “It’s like you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. At the end of the day, how are we all going to be militant if we not as a unit?”
Rocky also questioned the motives behind activists, who claim to want to enact change.
“You got brothers saying, ‘Alright, when the cops kill us we gotta stick together. But when this is all said and done, then it’s back to f*ck you and f*ck you — that crab in a barrel mentality.”
During the lengthy interview, Rocky managed to pull GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump into the controversy.
“We gotta unify,” he said, adding, “We gotta show love cause especially with somebody like that guy Trump in office this sh*t is a catastrophe.”
While the video campaign Rocky took part in seemed to paint a picture that police are out to punish black people, the rapper insists that he’s about promoting prosperity for everybody, regardless of race.
“I don’t want to sit here and make it seem like I’m only so pro-black. I’m about everybody,” he said. “And some people are not okay with that, especially at a time like this. And for me I don’t see black and white. I feel like not every cop is as bad as the ones that some of us have encountered now and again.”
Asked what the one thing that he wants to focus on is, Rocky said: “I want to start by encouraging everybody to think as individuals. I stand for kids who don’t really see that racism sh*t.”
“It’s about people. We gotta stop separating each other with color,” he said.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson