After A$AP Rocky was charged with assault and detained by Swedish officials, fans are fighting back with calls to boycott Swedish brands, claiming the country’s treatment of the “Praise the Lord” rapper is racist.
His trial begins Tuesday amidst several bizarre events, including an A$AP Rocky fan threatening to blow up the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C. and President Trump blasting Swedish leadership for its mistreatment of Rocky and letting down the “African-American community.” The president said he spoke with Sweden’s prime minister Saturday about the jailed rapper and “offered to personally vouch for his bail.”
Supporters of Rocky and the president called for the boycott last week with the growing demand to #FreeRocky. #Boycottsweden is trending on Twitter targeting Ikea, Absolut Vodka, Volvo and Spotify. #Boycottikea also trended on Twitter.
He faces up to two years in prison and fines, as prosecutors allege that he and members of his team assaulted defendants over a public brawl involving headphones on June 30th. Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, claim they acted in self-defense, but he will remain in a Kronberg prison before pleading his case.
According to an affidavit, the fan who threatened the embassy has been identified as Rebecca Kanter. Kanter is being accused of placing a bag near the entrance to the embassy, throwing liquid from a glass Coca-Cola bottle at the doorway and screaming “I’m going to blow this m----------r up.” She has since been taken into custody by Secret Service agents.
The rapper has been in Swedish custody since July 3 and sources told TMZ earlier this week that Mayers was "sleeping on a yoga mat and eating little food." Swedish officials maintain their prisons have “small populations” and resemble U.S. college dorms.
The American rapper has maintained his innocence throughout his detention, posting a video of the argument on his Instagram account in which he and his friends repeatedly ask two men to stop following them. According to the rapper, one of the men then “hits security in the face with headphones then follow us.”
Mikael Lindstrom, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, responded to Trump and the scandal by emphasizing the equality of its justice system.
“In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law.”