With A$AP Rocky, as with Trump, it’s not personal, just business

I wrote here about how President Trump intervened in extraordinary fashion to have the rapper A$AP Rocky released from a Swedish prison after Rocky and his entourage beat up a guy who was following him around. The Swedes released Rocky, who returned to the U.S. and was tried (and convicted) in absentia.

Apparently, Rocky has not thanked Trump for his efforts. Some of those who urged the president to become involved reportedly are upset about the rapper’s lack of gratitude (I’ve seen no indication that Trump himself is unhappy about it, though he might be).

At one level, Rocky’s apparent failure to thank the president casts him in a bad light. If a president intervened to get me out of a foreign jail, I would express my gratitude. It wouldn’t matter whether the president was a Republican, a Democrat, or a Socialist; nor would the president’s motive matter much to me.

One the other hand, Trump’s intervention was “transactional.” Trump didn’t know Rocky, and did not know whether the rapper deserved to be in jail.

It didn’t matter. Trump was doing a favor for some of his African-American show biz supporters and hoping to curry favor with members of a certain African-American demographic. In other words, Trump was promoting his interests.

A$AP Rocky is now looking out for his interests. He seems to have concluded that they do not favor thanking a politician who remains unpopular with his audience and his fans.

For Rocky, as for Trump, it’s not personal, it’s strictly business.