With A$AP Rocky's fate and freedom currently hanging in the balance, many in hip-hop have openly stood by the New York rapper during his time of crisis. Today, TMZ caught up with Wale after a night out at Bootsy Bellows, and the rapper opened up about how Rocky's situation is hurting the culture.  

"Everybody that's been damaged in this situation should be reciprocated that same energy on a monetary basis," says Wale. "You're taking people away from their money, their energy, their fans, their momentum. A$AP Rocky is a part of our culture. He's a part of our real culture. We need him, we really need him." Wale also doubles down on the reasoning that Rocky needs to be paid, expeditiously as T.I. might say. "If he was in American jail, first of all, he wouldn't be locked up that long. I don't really know the details, but it's a lot going on right now." 

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Though he's made no secret of his frustrations with the industry, Wale makes sure to vouch for Rocky as a man of integrity, a rare breed. "He's one of the good men in this industry that really cares," says Wale. "In the past he hasn't worded things the right way, but I know where his heart is. I talked to him, I kicked it with him a bunch of times." When asked to elaborate on his "wording" comment, Wale explains that Rocky "lives a lifestyle that's different, and he doesn't sit around and think of things too deep. He might say things off impulse."

Still, it's Free Rocky through and through. "I know his heart is in the right place, and he needs to come home," continues Wale. "He didn't do anything that was like, absurdly vicious. Ya'll going to lock up somebody for defending themselves or being alert? It's a little bit too much. He's never perpetuated that type of stereotype, or gave off that type of energy."

Respect to Wale for keeping it real, and given Ferg's recent update on A$AP's predicament, we can only hope that things take a positive turn before long.