If you thought A$AP Rocky’s rambling appearance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards was a bad moment for the rap star, well, so did he. Not only did he promote A$AP Ferg’s new album Trap Lord, he laughed while openly gay NBA player Jason Collins gave a speech about tolerance. They were there to introduce Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who were about to perform their equality anthem “Same Love,” and Rocky went as far as to point at Collins when he himself said the word “homosexuality.” Naturally, that sent the Internet into “blast first, think later” mode, accusing A$AP of being uncomfortable with gay people.
In an interview with Stashed, Rocky attempted to clear the air. “I’m mad that my facial expressions was like that because I’m not homophobic at all, and that whole thing just came off real homophobic. I didn’t really notice it until I got home and saw it,” he said. “I apologize to Jason for that, because people was laughing and shit, and you know… I really don’t think that’s funny. I saw they were making all the memes and pictures and making fun of him. There’s people out there that think I was doing that to be funny, and truthfully I got gay people in my family. I don’t give a fuck if you gay or you not, I just found it odd that MTV wanted to stand me next to this nigga when they are talking about gay people, that’s all. You know what I’m saying?”
It’s not the first time the A$AP Mob leader has discussed homophobia. In a 2011 interview with Pitchfork, the fashion-forward rapper confronted his own bigoted feelings: “I used to be homophobic, but that’s fucked up. I had to look in the mirror and say, ‘All the designers I’m wearing are gay.’ I hear stories about all these industry motherfuckers who are gay, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but that shit don’t matter. It’s so immature.”
He reiterated his feelings in another interview with the New York Daily News earlier this year, blasting the hip-hop community at large for homophobic slurs. “For instance, one big issue in hip-hop is the gay thing,” he said. “It’s 2013, and it’s a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It’s crazy. And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip-hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip-hop is small-minded or stupid — and that’s not the case. We’ve got people like Jay Z. We’ve got people like Kanye. We’ve got people like me. We’re all prime examples of people who don’t think like that.”
As for the reasoning behind his VMA gaffe, Rocky admitted that night on the red carpet that he was completely unprepared for his speech. “I don’t even know nothing about my presenting duties yet, you know, I’mma just get there and do the damn thing,” he said. “I don’t know nothing about what I’m gonna say.”
Hopefully next time he’ll come prepared.