A$AP Rocky rapper intended to “spread love and have fun” during his return to Sweden.
The 31-year-old rapper spent a month in jail in Stockholm over the summer when he was arrested following a street altercation and was later found guilty of assault along with his co-defendants Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers. But after a complex and drawn out battle to get him released from confinement and leaving the country in August, A$AP Rocky vowed to return and made a pointed statement with his stage setting when the curtain rose at the city’s Ericsson Globe Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.
Rocky had a giant metal cage, which looked like a prison cell, with male dancers trapped inside, and they attempted to break free as soon as the rapper broke into song. He later joined them inside the cage for a rendition of “Babushka Boi.”
Despite the star’s insistence he was there to “spread love and have fun” and not discuss his treatment at the hands of Swedish authorities, the show still included a number of references to the incident, including a simulated arrest.
At one point, Rocky joked he felt like “an honorary Swede as this point.”
The “Praise the Lord” hitmaker – whose real name is Rakim Mayers – originally wanted to perform at Kronoberg prison, where he was held over the summer, to highlight the issues they face and give back to those who had helped him. The proposed concert plans were however vetoed by Sweden’s prison board due to logistical and security issues.
Rocky still vowed to do what he could to help those less fortunate in Sweden.
The rapper tweeted earlier this week: “Even though when I’m denied access to donate or perform for the inmates in Sweden, I still want to raise awareness for the immigrants and poor people of outside surrounding areas. This has been a difficult journey, but I feel it’s my task to give back to [people] who supported me when I was down.”
After visiting a school earlier in the day, the rapper issued an open invitation to his show.
“Whoever’s from the hood, they get in for free,” he said in an Instagram video.
Rocky was taken into custody on July 2 for his involvement in a fight prior to a music festival.
After a high-profile trial, he was found guilty of assault and was ordered to pay $1,300 compensation to his 19-year-old victim, Mustafa Jafari.
Rocky was not given any further jail time after being found guilty – despite prosecutors asking for a six-month sentence – because prosecutors could not prove a bottle was used in the attack.
“The assault has not been of such a serious nature that a prison sentence must be chosen,” the court said in a statement at the time.
“The defendants are therefore sentenced to conditional sentences.”