We might not quite be in a golden age for political rap (for every Kendrick Lamar, there are 10 Migos), but in a year's news cycle dominated by anti-police brutality protests across A$AP Rocky's home country, you might expect his mind to turn toward the streets at some point when he writes. On new album, A.L.L.A., Rocky made small forays into political and social commentary ("Gentrification split the nation that I once was raised in/I don't recall no friendly neighbors face on my upraising"), and when asked whether he felt a duty to rap politically, he told the students:
"Not everybody should be like Kendrick or talk about political things just to stand out. Also, not everybody should be like A$AP Mob and talk about drugs and girls and clothes. We don't all have to talk about the same topics."
Rocky was pushed a second time on his opinion of the anti-police brutality protests, but said, "I have been recording an album in London for a year, so I really wasn't there [protesting] so I can't speak about it." But his further criticism is unlikely to win many activist friends:
"Why are we exploiting the beef between the urban community and the police force when 60 people got shot on a Friday and Saturday [on July holiday weekend in 2014] in Chicago in black-on-black crime? So one cop shoots a black person...that kind of shit is inevitable. Not to glorify it, but that's nothing new. Let's talk about the black-on-black crime. If you're not gonna talk about the main topic, then don't talk about it all."