After days of backlash for making homophobic comments on stage, rapper DaBaby offered an “apology” — and it’s not a good one. If you were hoping for thoughtfulness, introspection or even a smidge of remorse out of DaBaby this week, you’re not going to get any of the above.
In a series of tweets, the Cleveland native addressed the egregious comments he made at Sunday night’s Rolling Loud concert about the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV.
“Anybody who done ever been effected [sic] 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,” he wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday evening (July 27). “But the LGBT community... I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.”
To recap, DaBaby went on a rant during his set at the packed show, asking anyone who “didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two to three weeks,” to put their cell phone lights up. He continued the offensive and deeply harmful callout, saying “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d*ck in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up!” The rant also included crude comments about female genitalia.
Since the incident, celebrities from to Dua Lipa to Elton John have condemned his actions, speaking out against the medical misinformation in his comments (people diagnosed with HIV today can absolutely carry on living full, healthy lives), and the dangerous stigmas that often link HIV and homosexuality. The illness can be contracted in a number of different ways, and is certainly not limited to gay people.
Lipa, who collaborated with DaBaby on a remix of her 2020 hit “Levitating,” posted that she was horrified by his words. “I really don’t recognize this as the person I worked with. I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100% with the LGBTQ community,” she wrote in a post on her Instagram story on Tuesday evening. “We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV and Aids.”
Fans are urging Lipa to remove DaBaby from the remix, and R&B/Soul goddess Victoria Monét has since offered to replace the rapper's vocals on the track. “If she would like to replace DaBaby’s verse on levitating I’m totally available,” Monét wrote on Twitter.
Unsurprisingly, DaBaby still has a number of supporters, including fellow rapper T.I., who is himself facing some serious allegations relating to the assault of over a dozen women.
"If you gonna have the Lil Nas X video and him living his truth, you gonna damn sure have people like DaBaby who gonna speak their truth," the rapper said on Instagram. His statements show the extent to which both HIV and homosexuality are still deeply stigmatised within certain pockets of the Black community, and how celebrities like T.I. and DaBaby contribute to perpetuating those prejudices.
Notably, DaBaby’s apology did not include any acknowledgement of his offensive statements about women, which should come as no surprise given his actions just a few minutes earlier in the show. During this same set, he also brought on a guest performer — Tory Lanez — just a few minutes after his former friend Megan Thee Stallion completed her own performance.