DaBaby is looking to create a positive change by encouraging more dialogue.
On Juneteenth, the Grammy-nominated rapper hosted a public discussion in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina where he was joined by city officials to discuss police reform, systemic racism, and the impact of social justice movements. At the beginning of the event, dubbed "Black Lives BEEN Mattered," DaBaby shared a few words on what he and the organizers were aiming to do.
"[This is] an opportunity to give people whose voices aren’t heard, whose voices don’t reach a million people, the opportunity to be heard," he said, as reported by the Charlotte Observer.
DaBaby briefly spoke about his own experiences with Charlotte law enforcement, specifically his 2019 arrest on a misdemeanor marijuana charge. The 28-year-old rapper had previously accused the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department of racial profiling and slammed officers for wasting their resources to harass him.
"I have had my own experiences with the police. It’s time to have a serious conversation about police reform and systemic racism in our city. Black lives been mattered and always will matter," he said. " ... Why have 20 cops tried to find someone who is trying to do their job when you have real bad things going on?"
At one point during the panel, McCrorey YMCA Director Dena Paulding urged DaBaby to use his platform to mobilize the younger generation. The rapper admitted there was more he could do.
"I need to be educated on voting to speak for these kinds of people," he said, before making closing statements. "... I want to end this by extending an offer to try to put something together routinely like this. Where we can bring blank notebook paper and pens and clipboards and try to move forward."
You can watch the full Black Lives BEEN Mattered panel via YouTube. The event included appearances by Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston, and former Carolina Panther Thomas Davis.