A$AP Rocky wanted to "spread love and have fun" on his return to Sweden as he took to the stage in Stockholm on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old rapper spent a month in jail in Stockholm over the summer when he was arrested following a street altercation, and was later found guilty of assault alongside his co-defendants Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, but after leaving the country in August, he vowed to return and made a pointed statement with his stage setting when the curtain rose at the city’s Ericsson Globe Arena on Wednesday.
Rocky had a giant metal cage, which looked like a prison cell, with male dancers trapped inside, and they attempted to break free as soon as the rapper broke into song. He later joined them inside the cage for a rendition of "Babushka Boi".
Despite the star’s insistence he was there to "spread love and have fun" and not discuss his treatment at the hands of Swedish authorities, the show still included a number of references to the incident, including a simulated arrest.
ASAP Rocky performs in a cage in Sweden pic.twitter.com/Zs7cCBCMiO
— RapCentury (@RapCentury_) December 11, 2019
At one point, Rocky joked he felt like "an honoree Swede as this point".
The ‘Praise the Lord’ hitmaker – whose real name is Rakim Mayers – had originally wanted to perform at Kronoberg prison, where he was held over the summer, to highlight the issues they face and give back to those who had helped him, but the concert was vetoes by Sweden’s prison board due to logistical and security issues.
However, Rocky still vowed to do what he could to help those less fortunate in the country.
He tweeted earlier this week: "EVEN WHEN IM DENIED ACCESS TO DONATE OR PERFORM FOR THE INMATES IN SWEDEN I STILL WANT TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR THE IMMIGRANTS AND POOR PPL OF OUTSIDE SURROUNDING AREAS , THIS HAS BEEN A DIFFICULT JOURNEY , BUT I FEEL ITS MY TASK TO GIVE BACK TO PPL WHO SUPPORTED ME WHEN I WAS DOWN (sic)"
After visiting a school earlier in the day, the rapper issued an open invitation to his show.
He said in an Instagram video: "Whoever’s from the hood, they get in for free."
Rocky was taken into custody on July 2 for his involvement in a fight prior to a music festival.
After a high-profile trial, he was found guilty of assault and was ordered to pay $1,300 compensation to his 19-year-old victim, Mustafa Jafari.
Rocky was not given any further jail time after being found guilty – despite prosecutors asking for a six month sentence – because prosecutors could not prove a bottle was used in the attack.
The court said in a statement at the time: "The assault has not been of such a serious nature that a prison sentence must be chosen.
"The defendants are therefore sentenced to conditional sentences."