A $ AP Rocky has vowed to teach his kids about diversity and acceptance after previously being called out for his derogatory comments about dark-skinned women and dismissing the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The couple – who started dating in November 2020 after years of friendship – reportedly welcomed their baby boy in LA on May 13.
Just a couple of months prior, Rihanna gave fans insight into how she planned on raising the child, revealing that she anticipated being an overprotective mom who wouldn’t “play” about her kids.
And now, her boyfriend A $ AP (real name Rakim Mayers) has followed suit and shared his take on the subject of parenthood, divulging in a candid new interview with Dazed magazine that he hopes to raise an open-minded child.
“I will always remind my children to never lose their imagination, even as adults, no matter what,” he said. “I actually love to watch cartoons – I’ve watched like, Teletubbies, Blue’s Clues, Yo Gabba Gabba, Peppa Pig, and Baby Shark. ”
“I hope to raise open-minded children. Not people who discriminate. And I’m not trying to describe a saint, but realistically, I just want a cool child with cool parents, “he said.
He went on to reveal that “diversity and versatility” are values that will be “embedded” into his household, noting that the influence he and Rihanna have over a generation of young people is hugely powerful.
“It’s beautiful that we can even do that,” he said of the couple’s ability to influence their followers. “Things like diversity and versatility are important, and they’ll be embedded in the household.”
Several fans quickly praised A $ AP for his comments about raising his children to be open-minded, particularly given how prevalent narrow-mindedness can be in certain rap communities.
“This is how every parent should be. why have a child if you’re not gonna support them? ” one person commented.
“Yessss for the open minded !!! Bc ppl don’t raise their kids to be open minded! My parents definitely didn’t, ”another wrote.
“Love it. Kids need to know, people are different and stop being mean to folks, ”someone else echoed.
However, some users appeared to take issue with the rapper’s sentiment, given that he faced several controversies in the past and offered little in the way of apologies.
Perhaps most memorably, A $ AP encountered harsh criticism in 2013 after making unsolicited comments about the kind of makeup he believed dark-skinned women were and weren’t allowed to wear.
“I feel like with the red lipstick thing it all depends on [complexion], ”He told the Coveteur when asked his opinion on girls wearing makeup. “I’m just being for real. You have to be fair skinned to get away with that. ”
The comments caused a wave of outrage from fans worldwide, who labeled the rapper “colorist.” A $ AP offered a lackluster apology amid all the backlash, saying he was “sorry if it hurts any dark-skinned girls’ feelings, ”but immediately went on to add that Black women had been too“ sensitive ”and“ petty ”with their response.
“Black girls just, ah man, went crazy. They just took it how they took it, ”he said. “If people get upset at that I think it’s petty at the same time. It’s like they damn near wanna Rick Ross boycott me right now, over some lipstick controversy. ”
“Black girls, you know how sensitive they are, but they are our sisters, man. It is what is, man. I come from a black home, so I know how sensitive black women can be. Especially when you talk about they look or something like that. You can’t say anything about they glasses, they nails, none of that because then you’re a womanizer or you’re a racist, ”he added.
That same year, A $ AP faced another heap of backlash when he looked visibly uncomfortable onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards, while NBA player Jason Collins – who is openly gay – gave a speech about bigotry and acceptance.
The duo were introducing Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s performance of “Same Love,” a song highlighting the importance of LGBTQ + acceptance. As Jason told the audience that “hating someone for their sexual orientation is the same thing as hating them for the color of their skin,” A $ AP awkwardly raised his eyebrows before laughing at someone in the crowd.
Later reflecting on the uncomfortable encounter, A $ AP apologized to Jason and said he was “mad” at himself for coming off “real homophobic.”
“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, ”said A $ AP, who’d previously admitted that he used to harbor anti-gay ideologies.
“I apologize to Jason for that, because people were laughing and shit, and you know… I really don’t think that’s funny,” he added. “I don’t give a fuck if you gay or you don’t, I just found it odd that MTV wanted to stand me next to [Jason] when they are talking about gay people, that’s all. You know what I’m saying? ”
A couple of years later, A $ AP sparked huge backlash when he publicly dismissed the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement at the time of the Ferguson protests.
The rallies were sparked after 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed Black man, was shot dead by white police officer Darren Wilson in August 2014.
A grand jury decided not to indict Wilson and he faced no charges for the shooting, which he claimed was self-defense. The verdict caused worldwide outrage and unrest, leading to several riots in support of the BLM movement.
Despite how sensitive and important the subject was – and still is – A $ AP shrugged the whole thing off when asked about Ferguson during an interview in 2015, saying he couldn’t “relate” to any of the issues because he lived out in Soho and Beverly Hills “and was busy“ in the studio. ”
“I didn’t sign up to be a political activist,” he told Time Out. “I wanna talk about my motherfuckin ‘lean, my best friend dying, the girls that come in and out of my life, the jiggy fashion that I wear, my new inspirations in drugs!”
“I don’t wanna talk about no fucking Ferguson and shit because I don’t live over there! I live in fucking Soho and Beverly Hills. I can’t relate. I’m in the studio; I’m in these fashion studios; I’m in these bitches’ drawers. I’m not doing anything outside of that. That’s my life, ”he added.
A $ AP apologized for his ignorant comments on Ferguson the following year, admitting during an interview with The Breakfast Club that he’d been in the wrong. “I feel terrible as a Black man, as an American,” he said.
With all this in mind, many fans are now questioning A $ AP’s sentiment about raising open-minded children in the light of his past controversies.
“So hopefully not a colorist like him,” one user wrote on Instagram. “Not the homophobe and colorist [talking] about he wants his child to be open-minded, ”another said.
“Yeah after the Beverly Hills comments he made and colorist remarks I hope he changed for the better cause Rihanna don’t play that nonsense,” someone else commented. “He better act and do right by his child and her.”
“Hope they’ll teach their baby is ‘open-minded’ to people of different skin tones because he’s definitely not,” another person said.
However, others suggested that the rapper may have changed tune over the years and expressed their hopes that he’d strayed far from his old beliefs.