In an interview with Kerwin Frost, the Harlem MC gave more context to his controversial quotes from 2015.
That September, Rocky did an interview with TimeOut’s Eve Barlow. Barlow asked Rocky about his experience speaking at Oxford University, where a student challenged his decision to not rap about police brutality and the Ferguson protests. Rocky responded to Barlow, quoting lyrics from his song “Dreams.”
“Why would I feel compelled to rap about Ferguson?” he replied, “I’m not about to say that I was down there throwing rocks at motherfuckers, getting pepper-sprayed. I’d be lying…I live in fucking Soho and Beverly Hills. I can’t relate.”
The quotes resurfaced on social media when Rocky was briefly incarcerated in Sweden. Speaking with Frost, however, Rocky attempted to clarify what he meant back in 2015.
“In those old interviews, I used to say ‘I think it’s inappropriate for me to rap about things I didn’t help with,'” he said. “I felt like when it came to Ferguson, J. Cole went down there and he actually was on the news and he helped. I felt like he deserved to rap about it. So when someone [asked] me that in 2015 I’m like: ‘I just feel, personally, if I’m in SoHo or I’m here I can’t even talk on that’… That’s appropriating. … It’s not sincere. It’s pretentious.”
Watch the full interview above.