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A$AP Mob Speaking Out Against Sexual Assault After Video Of Member Surfaces

Hip-Hop is known for the rise to various artists who often have criminal records, causing fans to partake in the typical “FREE ______” bandwagon whenever legal issues may occur for their favorite rappers. From Gucci Mane to Weezy, however, many of these stans jump on these bandwagons for other artists after this trend began without realizing the actual cases behind them. A lot of which of cases of sexual assault. Two prime examples of current rappers are Kodak Black and XXXTentacion. Their cases are heavy and triggering, and most importantly, extremely discouraging to survivors whenever they see people backing up these rappers on their timelines and social feeds. Some may be torn at the fact that Kendrick Lamar praised XXXTentacion’s recent album. I remember being alarmed and uncomfortable at last year’s Day N’ Night festival in Orange County seeing other attendees waving signs saying “FREE KODAK”, since he was supposed to perform, however, was under arrest for sexual assault. Consequently, misogyny is still very alive and deeply embedded in hip-hop. Nonetheless, there are cases and issues showing that other rappers are not about that all. This last July a video surfaced of A$AP Mob member, A$AP Bari, forcing a young woman in sexual activities. Bari was quick to dismiss the video, calling it “fake” on twitter, and “misleading” in a later public statement. However, fellow Mob members and affiliates felt otherwise. Giving hope that hip-hop is slowly dismantling rape culture, and bringing awareness to issues like these by not condoning such actions. A$AP Mob has such a status and influence in the game right now, and being in a time where fans disregard these actions for the sake of being a stan, it is crucial for the Mob to vocalize their disgust. Fellow members’ reactions are examples we need to see of speaking up and speaking out against sexual assault and Rape Culture in the Hip-Hop community. Below are a list of the few speaking up:

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A$AP Rocky calls Bari a “B*itch” live at Agenda in Long Beach

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While performing Telephone Calls alongside Tyler the Creator, A$AP Rocky changed the line “A$AP Bari he legit” to “A$AP Bari he a b*tch”.

On an unrelated note: A$AP Mob recently released their album Cozy Tapes 2: Too Cozy, one song to look at is, "Frat Rules", featuring Rocky, Playboi Carti, and Big Sean. A line that stuck out to many was Rocky saying: My apologies, why I gotta be Misogynistic every time we kick it? Perhaps, simply bringing up misogyny alone in a rap song is a very big move on it's own. Especially since this was released after the incident. Another important aspect to look at is the fact that although Bari being a founder of the Mob, he was not featured or credited for the album even though he has been in previous albums.

Playboi Carti speaks out during a concert

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In a concert in Santa Ana, California in July, A$AP affiliate Playboi Carti stopped the show to say, "I don't support none of that rape shit, fuck all that shit...that shit wack.” However, it is important to recognize that Carti still referred to Bari as his brother. Change is done in steps, but holding accountability is crucial. Although giving leeway to rape culture is unacceptable, hearing rappers speak out against rape is rare. This opens future progress for individuals to fully disassociate with rapists rather than supporting them and their work, such as Kendrick Lamar's example of praising XXXTentacion as mentioned previously.

A$AP Ferg Speaks Out

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In two radio interviews, the moderators mentioned the incident and asked for Ferg's opinion. In the first interview with Hot 97, he simply dismissed the topic calling it "unfortunate", and that he would "rather not talk about it" saying it was a "touchy subject. This first interview was about a week after the surface of the video. Upon watching that interview, I was left simply uncomfortable with Ferg's motion to avoid the topic. As tactics like that is what continues to let sexual assault occur over and over again. Hip-Hop cannot continue to act blindly as if an issue like this is not huge within the community, from disgusting lines about women to it actually occurring in the Hip-Hop scene. Over a month later, Ferg was faced with questions about Bari's status in Mob again in an interview with The Breakfast Club. "We don't condone that behavior", Ferg says, calling his actions a "B*tch move". Seeing this change in demeanor is important as helps encourage others that speaking against assault is vital, especially when the perpetrator is in one's inner circle. Educate, vocalize, and repeat.

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