Words: Alastair James; pictures: YouTube
DaBaby is probably hoping third time is a charm, as he’s issued a third apology following the backlash over his homophobic at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami on Sunday 25 July.
During his performance, he said: "If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two, three weeks, then put your cellphone light up." He also said, “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d*** in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”
The rapper has been dropped by festivals, brand partners as well as being criticised by fellow music artists over the comments about people living with HIV and Aids and the LGBTQ community.
"I know education on this is important"
In a captionless Instagram post, which strikes a very different tone and voice from his previous statements on the backlash, the 29-year-old says:
“Social media moves so fast that people want to demolish you before you even have the opportunity to grow, educate, and learn from your mistakes.
“As a man who has had to make his own way from very difficult circumstances, having people I know publicly working against me — knowing that what I needed was education on these topics and guidance — has been challenging.
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“I appreciate the many people who came to me with kindness, who reached out to me privately to offer wisdom, education, and resources. That’s what I needed and it was received.”
“I want to apologise to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made. Again, I apologise for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I know education on this is important. Love to all. God bless. – DaBaby.”
DaBaby has previously apologised twice while also defending himself and doubling down on his comments. Following his performance in Miami, the rapper took to Instagram to clap back against those criticising him, saying his comments were only meant to be for those at the concert, and that the comments didn’t “translate correctly” to others watching the widely shared footage.
Following a statement from Dua Lipa, with whom he recently collaborated on a remix of the Dua’s ‘Levitating’, DaBaby issued an apology on Twitter saying people with HIV and Aids had a right to be upset and that he hadn’t intended to offend anyone. He told the LGBTQ community that, “Y’all business is y’all business”.
Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies 🙏🏾— DaBaby (@DaBabyDaBaby) July 27, 2021
But the LGBT community... I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.
DaBaby also tried apologising at the end of the music video for his song ‘Giving What It’s Supposed To Give’ (where he also sings about “liking” Aids) with a rainbow message reading: “Don’t fight hate with hate”, which is followed by: “My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you”.
"A musician’s job is to bring people together"
On Sunday (1 August) DaBaby was dropped at the last minute from his closing slot at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago following the controversy. The organisers said the festival was, “founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love” and that DaBaby didn’t fit in with that message.
He’s also been dropped from Manchester’s Parklife Festival in September, and as NME reports, he’s also been dropped from the Governor’s Ball in New York also in September. Organisers there said they couldn’t tolerate “hate or discrimination of any kind”.
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The rapper has also been dropped from a partnership with the retailer BoohooMan. He’s also faced stinging criticism from Elton John and Madonna, as well as Dua Lipa and many others. Sir Elton said: "Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalised people in our communities. A musician’s job is to bring people together."
It would seem that the consequences of DaBaby’s actions have caught up with him, and he’s now trying to stem any further losses with what seems like an actually sincere apology.
However, given his previous apologies alongside posts where the rapper has doubled down on his initial comments, it's fair to say this latest statement needs to come with a hefty pinch of salt...