STOCKHOLM (AP) — A$AP Rocky is back in Sweden. The American rapper performed last Wednesday evening, four months after he was convicted of assault for a violent street brawl.
The curtain raised at Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe arena to the sight of a stage-wide metal cage enclosing male dancers. They attempted to break free as soon as the rapper began to perform, a not-so-subtle reference to his nearly month-long incarceration this summer pending his trial.
But A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, said he wasn’t there to talk about his treatment in the hands of the Swedish authorities but to “spread love and have fun”. However, the show was peppered with references to his time in a Swedish prison, including a simulated arrest and joking he felt like “an honoree Swede as this point”.
Following a visit to a school in the suburbs of the Swedish capital earlier in the day, Mayers posted an open invitation to his concert on Instagram. “Whoever’s from the hood, they get in for free,” he said in a video that went viral on social media and led to lines of youngsters making their way into the capital.
High school student Farnaz Roustaei was in bed when she heard the news on snapchat and succeeded in convincing her mother to let her travel 90 minutes into town. She got her ticket via a link on Mayers’ Instagram profile, and while not free, it cost her only 11 krona (USD1.1).
“I’m so stressed. It’s my first concert ever,” she said, sharply dressed and with fresh make-up, making her way to join her friends.
Concert promoter Live Nation said last month that Mayers scheduled the show “after tremendous support from the Swedish fans”.