A$AP Rocky back in Sweden four months after assault conviction

2019-12-12 08:23
 
ASAP Rocky

Stockholm - New York rapper A$AP Rocky was back in Sweden for a concert on Wednesday, four months after receiving a suspended sentence over a Stockholm street fight.

In a nod to the month he spent in custody in a Stockholm jail in July awaiting trial, the 31-year-old rapper opened his show by playing an automated recording of a woman's voice from the Stockholm jail informing someone they were receiving a call from an inmate.

Clad in a green sweatsuit, he then performed on top of large cages resembling prison cells that had been erected on stage at Stockholm's Ericsson Globe, a golf ball-shaped arena that is the world's largest spherical building.

His backup dancers remained inside the cages while he performed on top.

A$AP Rocky's booking agency, Live Nation, said part of the concert's proceeds would go to charity.

The rapper will have to be on good behaviour during his stay in Sweden to avoid seeing his suspended sentence change to a spell behind real bars.

A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested on 3 July a few days after a brawl in Stockholm in which he and his entourage were embroiled with a 19-year-old plaintiff.

Considered a flight risk, he was held in custody for a month while the case was investigated and throughout his trial.

Prosecutors had called for a six-month prison sentence, but the court said the actions of Mayers and two members of his entourage were not severe enough to warrant more time in prison.

The court did not specify the length of the suspended sentence.

Assault carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison in Sweden.

Trump intervention

The rappers' imprisonment outraged fans, who started an online petition, #JusticeForRocky, which garnered more than 640 000 signatures.

Supporters were urged to boycott Swedish brands such as Ikea.

The case also led to diplomatic tensions after US President Donald Trump himself urged Swedish politicians to work for Mayers release.

Prior to his gig on Wednesday, Mayers visited students in the Stockholm suburb of Husby, a disadvantaged area home to a strong immigrant community.

Saying he wanted to give back to his "community", Mayers offered free entrance to his concert to anyone from Stockholm's disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

He later had to take back the offer, with his booking agency saying it was impossible to execute for practical reasons.

However, a number of tickets were made available on his Instagram account for just one krona, which were swiftly snapped up.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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