Rakim Mayers, better known as multi-platinum rapper A$AP Rocky, has been a tour-de-force in both hip-hop and fashion. Since the debut of his mixtape Live. Love. A$AP, we have known him for his innovative looks and his energetic performances. At the Tribeca Film Festival, with the debut of the documentary Stockholm Syndrome, his story is formally presented.
In 2019, while on the European leg of his “Injured Generation” tour, A$AP Rocky was involved in a violent altercation in Stockholm, Sweden. The rapper found himself in a jail in Sweden, where he spent over a month within the Swedish incarceration system amidst a swell of support from other rappers through hip-hop, including Tyler, the Creator, and Kanye West.
In the documentary aptly titled Stockholm Syndrome, co-producers Matthew Perniciaro and Michael Sherman hope to show, through the story of A$AP Rocky, the meteoric rise of a star who was born with all the cards dealt against him, before ultimately showing the dark turns his story took upon his imprisonment in 2019. Although the movie’s development began in the first days of Rocky’s imprisonment back in July 2019, the movie debuts today in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests that sprung throughout the world in the summer of 2020. The movie is both a celebration of the life that Rocky has led and a way to show the world that the systemic setbacks which Black Americans face to this day echo throughout the world.
Matthew Perniciaro: What I really hope that people get out of this story, is that we have had a degree of awakening in our country, in America in the past year, that we are really starting to talk about things on a national level that we need to be talking about, as far as racism and criminal justice reform. We need to extend this conversation globally, because these elements are happening around the globe, and watching what Rocky went through firsthand, it was unjust, and it was an overreaction. We question if the situation would have been different.
Co-Producer Michael Sherman echoed very similar words.
IN: So what was the most striking part for you while making this documentary?
Sherman: I hope that Rocky will have that magnitude in this film tonight, and people that don’t know him will fall in love with him and root for him, because he’s a human like the rest of us.
A$AP Twelvyy, a member of the A$AP Mob Collective which Rocky presently leads since the death of the founder, A$AP Yams, back in 2014, also came to the red carpet. Although he states he has yet to see the documentary in full, he said he had a hand in the production. In his words, he brought in “Positive love and energy” for the audience to experience through the documentary.
Directed by The Architects, a collective of directors, the documentary makes its debut on June 13, 2021 at the Tribeca Film Festival.