Thu 30 Apr 2009
Asher Roth issued this statement in response to the flack about Twittergate, as well as the flack about his comments, in an Associated Press interview, about “African rappers” who brag about all their money in the face of poverty in their home towns. (“All these black rappers — African rappers — talking about how much money they have. ‘Do you realize what’s going on in Africa right now?’“) (statement spotted at Nahright)
As of late, statements I’ve made have been stirring up much controversy and speculation. It is in my best interest that I feel I should address these instances personally and specifically. Truth: I am 23 year old imperfect human being who’s world is drastically changing around him. Facebook is no longer for just me and my friends. Twitter is no longer solely for the watchful eye of my parents. A new responsibility and voice has been placed upon me and is being heard well beyond my immediate peers. I’ve been receiving a crash course on perspectives and a very real sensitivity that exists and is an essential part of our world. With that, I’d like to sincerely apologize for any words that have been misinterpreted and may have offended any man, woman or child.
More of the statement after the jump…
The twitter situation was an immature attempt to poke fun at an infamously moronic joke. In doing so, I unconsciously stooped to the level of its originator, making it just as bad, if not worse. Pathetic. Lesson learned – nothing good can come from repeating hateful words, regardless of your intentions. Leaving no context in what was being said and being presented through text (no facial or vocal inflection) the sarcasm of the joke (or lack there of) was not properly perceived and left it purely in bad taste. I immediately apologized for my immaturity but the apologies and original post were deleted by my team in an effort to prevent more people from being offended. Unfortunately, the deletion of these statements led several people to believe that my apology was insincere, which is why I have made the decision to release this statement.
The latest quote on giving back was in response to a question about rappers and their money posed to me by the interviewer. With the question and entire vibe of the conversation not being present in the article, when my statement came out in print it appeared as if I was taking black rappers to task randomly. Not the case. Although I do feel strongly about giving back when we are in a position of power and prosperity, it is not my place to talk about what others should do with their lives. Lesson learned: talk about what you know. You can call them mistakes, I call them life lessons. It is my duty as a human being to choose my words carefully, for I am a kind soul who puts a lot of stock in the progess of humans. I am a work in progress, as we all are and I will take this opportunity to learn and grow. Its bigger than an apology, its an understanding.
Moving forward, I hope we can all take some perspective and guidance from the dialogue that has emerged from these situations. I know I already have and will continue to do so.
Onward and upward
Now personally I think Asher’s handlers made a mistake by not letting him address these issues immediately. From what I heard, he wanted to. I dont get the waiting game…and I’m inclined to think that his team only finally gave the green light because they felt forced to. Which is not savvy. You must control a situation like this so that it doesnt control you.
Having said that. I think it’s important that artists and people in general are able to voice their opinion, unpopular or generalist or even unreasonable. In this case of the AP quote, the comment doesnt read to me as a hate-filled one, maybe just a presumptuous one. And in the case of the Rutgers tweet, repressed ignorance doesnt get the opportunity to be addressed and fixed. So hopefully its a learning mistake.
But switching subjects….will there be a statement from Rick Ross about him calling Eminem a “honky” (pronounced hunky of course)? He issued a very bizarre and grandiose apology for his homophobic gaffe a while back. Will Em insist that its not okay for non-whites to use that as a racial slur?