Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@dababy
Rapper DaBaby has been criticised for expressing offensive and homophobic views at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami on Sunday (25 July).
Footage has been widely shared on social media of the 29-year-old star - who recently collaborated with Dua Lipa on a remix of her song ‘Levitating’ - taking to the stage and making offensive, incorrect statements about HIV/Aids.
“Inciting hate for the LGBT Community”
At the festival the rapper is seen to say: "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.”
DaBaby this is weird to say?? Wth. pic.twitter.com/MDBQEZ2NsA— ➰ᴺᴹ (@KingSeanSwae) July 26, 2021
Many were unimpressed with these comments. One person accused DaBaby of “inciting hate for the LGBT Community”, while also guessing that the rapper was trying to antagonise fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion.
Naur I'm still on this I'm actually angry. Cause WHY DID HE MAKE IT AN INTERACTIVE LITTLE THING WITH THE AUDIENCE?? He's dead inciting hate for the LGBT community. And I know he knows that Megan is very involved in the community and supports us. OFF WITH HIS HEADD— 😼 (@cyackdestroyer) July 26, 2021
At another part of the concert, DaBaby brought out Tory Lanez, who is part of an ongoing case regarding allegations Lanez shot Megan Thee Stallion in the foot last year, which Lanez has disputed. According to the Independent, Lanez’s appearance immediately followed Stallion’s time on stage.
Speaking to PinkNews, Richard Angell from the HIV charity The Terrence Higgins Trust said: “Comments like DaBaby’s perpetuate HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as spreading misinformation about HIV. You can now live a long, healthy life with HIV thanks to medical progress when you’re diagnosed and accessing treatment.
“That’s why it’s important to challenge anything that deters people from testing and learning the facts about HIV.”
“Shut the f*** up”
DaBaby has since responded to criticism on his own social media, saying that what happens at a live show is only for those attending the live show.
Taking to his Instagram Stories following the criticism DaBaby shared 18 videos defending himself and his comments.
He said: “What I do at a live show is for the audience at the live show. It’ll never translate correctly to somebody looking at a little five, six-second clip from their goddamn crib on their phone. It just don’t work like that.”
He accused people of twisting his words and says he had fans – gay and straight including a guy in a crop top – “turning up the whole night”.
DaBaby then tells those not present at the Miami show to “shut the f*** up” before repeating the comments he made during his set, saying he was making “ a call to action, adding he was “the best live performer”.
“All the lights went up, gay or straight. You want to know why? Because even my gay fans don’t got f****** Aids… They don’t got Aids. My gay fans, they take care of theyself, they ain’t going for that […] They ain’t no junkies. I said if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone light up. You know what my gay fans did? Put that mother****** light up.
DaBaby finished by again criticising those that weren’t there for adding “negative attention and energy” and that this didn’t concern them, as well as repeating that what was recorded wasn’t meant to be seen by people not at the show.
DaBaby has also been defended by fellow rapper T.I, who has previously made some questionable comments himself, including that “homosexuals have more rights than heterosexuals”…
T.I. goes on to say to the camera (while driving) that he respects people who can “live their truth unapologetically” regardless of sexuality and it’s not his business what people do in the bedroom.
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Making comparison between DaBaby and Lil Nas X, T.I says, “I got a lot of respect for bruh [Lil Nas X] because he had the courage to live his truth, but that shit ain’t for me… Just can’t look at it, it ain’t for me […] And I don’t want my children seeing it, either.”
T.I then says if someone like Lil Nas X “living his truth” then DaBaby can “speak they truth and there ain’t nothing wrong with none of that. It ain’t got to be no hate, it’s all honesty.”
Attitude has contacted representatives for DaBaby and T.I.