ASAP Rocky Has Been Mentioned Repeatedly Throughout Today’s Donald Trump Impeachment Hearing

Of all the names to come up multiple times over the course of a sitting President’s impeaching hearing, one might expect to hear those of politicians, diplomats, businessmen, and officials — rappers, not so much. However, throughout today’s impeachment hearing against Donald Trump, one rapper’s name popped up several times: ASAP Rocky.

The first mention came on Friday from Department of State official David Holmes, who recounted a conversation between Trump and US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in which Sondland advised Trump to “let [Rocky] get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape when he comes home” in regard to Trump’s involvement in Rocky’s Swedish arrest scandal earlier this year.

Today, Sondland himself mentioned Rocky during his own testimony while trying to defend Trump, saying, “It’s true that the President speaks loudly at times. It’s also true — I think we primarily discussed ASAP Rocky — that the President likes to use colorful language. Anyone who’s met with him any reasonable amount of time knows this.”

Passing over the generous description of Trump’s language as merely “colorful” — maybe he’s referring to the businessman’s tendency to bring up people of color in derogatory ways, like calling Latinos rapists and his unfortunate use of the phrase “my African American” — it’s undoubtedly odd to hear so many people with important positions in government fretting over a rapper from Harlem with such a strong interest in fashion that he designed new uniforms for the prison where he was detained. 2019 has been a trip.