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No prison time for “guilty” Asap Rocky

Asap Rocky handed suspended sentence for Stockholm assault case, as members of music community boycott Sweden and discuss pre-trial detention

By Anna Grace on 14 Aug 2019

No prison sentence for Asap Rocky

Asap Rocky will return to Blockfest this year following his 2016 performance

image © Julius Konttinen

US rapper Asap Rocky has been found guilty of assault by Stockholm District Court and given a two-year suspended sentence.

The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, received a ‘guilty’ verdict along with two members of his entourage, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers.

The assault was not deemed serious enough to constitute a prison sentence, as long as the three defendants commit no further crimes for two years.

The rapper was ordered to pay Kr12,500 (US$1,300) in damages to the victim for “violation of his integrity” and “pain and suffering”, according to the Swedish arm of English-language publication the Local.

Asap Rocky and his two co-defendants spent almost a month in custody in Sweden following the assault. Many objected to the rapper’s pre-trial detention, with artists including Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Jada Pinkett Smith urging his release.

Joppe Pihlgren, head of Swedish live music association Svensk Live, told IQ last month that although Rocky being held in a jail cell while awaiting trial “might seem strange in America, where you can bail yourself out if you have enough money… this is not how the Swedish system works.”

Pihlgren said he believed the general public largely supported Rocky’s detention, saying the feeling in Sweden was that “he is accused of committing a crime and he’s being treated like anyone else”.

“We [in Sweden] have a judicial system that treats everyone the same”

“We have a judicial system that treats everyone the same,” explained the Svensk Live head.

Mayers, Corniel and Rispers returned to the United States when the trial concluded on 2 August, where they have been awaiting today’s (14 August) verdict. The return prompted a gleeful Twitter post from president Donald Trump, who had put pressure on the Swedish government to release the rapper.

The rapper made his return to the stage at California’s Real Street festival on Sunday, telling fans “I’m so happy to be here right now.” Rocky also referenced the support he received from fellow artists, stating that “hip hop never looked so strong together, we’re a big, strong community.”

Rappers Tyler the Creator, Schoolboy Q and Lil Yachty announced they would boycott Sweden as a touring destination following Rocky’s arrest.

Rocky was forced to cancel various festival appearances while detained, including headline slots at Sónar in Spain, London’s Wireless festival and Ukraine’s Atlas Weekend.

Lowlands re-announced the rapper’s appearance at the festival this weekend, following confirmation from the artist’s agency, CAA. Rocky is also scheduled to appear in Finland in the next few days, at Live Nation-owned hip-hop festival Blockfest.


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