DaBaby’s Homophobic Comments Controversy, Explained

Following a controversial performance at Rolling Loud where he made homophobic comments, DaBaby has been dropped by multiple festivals. Here’s a timeline.

DaBaby continues to dominate headlines after a performance at Rolling Loud Miami where he made several homophobic and misogynistic comments

The rapper has since shared a short apology on Twitter, saying, “What I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody.” But his words and actions following the performance have already resulted in a series of consequences. He has been dropped from several festival lineups and lost business deals, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end soon. 

If you look at DaBaby’s social media accounts right now, it’ll be difficult to tell he’s in the midst of a major controversy, outside of one apology post. The rapper has been sharing clips of himself riding in private jets and performing at local shows. Despite the facade he is holding up, though, the repercussions are mounting. If you’re just now catching up, here’s a timeline explaining DaBaby’s current situation. 

On the final day of Rolling Loud Miami, DaBaby took the Ciroc Stage for a performance that shocked fans. He first came under fire for bringing out Tory Lanez to perform their latest single “SKAT” shortly after Megan Thee Stallion had left the same stage. (In 2020, Megan accused Tory of shooting her in her feet.) DaBaby and Meg recently got into a brief argument on Twitter after DaBaby and Lanez’s collaboration. Following the guest appearance, DaBaby proceeded to stun again for making homophobic comments between songs. “If you 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, then put your cell phone lighter up,” he told attendees. “Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cell phone lighter up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lighter up.” Clips from the livestream of Rolling Loud quickly began circulating on social media and received widespread criticism from fans and celebrities including Dua Lipa, Elton John, and Questlove.

The day after his Rolling Loud set, DaBaby took to his Instagram Stories where he appeared to defend his controversial comments. In the clips, he repeatedly referred to himself as the “live show killer” and explained his comments as a call to action for his fans. “My gay fans, they take care of themselves. They ain’t no nasty gay niggas. They ain’t no junkies in the street,” he stated. “Then I said if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lighter up. You know what my gay fans did? Put that motherfucking light up, nigga, ‘cause my gay fans ain’t going for that. They got class. They ain’t sucking no dick in no parking lot.” The rapper’s comments on Instagram have been categorized by many as misinformation that perpetuates homophobia and the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. 

July 26: T.I. tries defending DaBaby from backlash, leading to more backlash

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One day after DaBaby’s Rolling Loud performance, T.I. jumped to the rapper’s defense in a lengthy video on Instagram. In the video, T.I., who is currently facing serious sexual assault allegations, said that people should stop looking to rappers to appease them. “Everyone is up in arms and upset about what DaBaby said. I understand people saying that they feel that it’s insensitive,” he said. “I think you guys have to understand that onstage, that’s not the place that rappers go to be sensitive and soothe everybody’s feelings. It’s a place to go to have a good time.” T.I. disagreed with the backlash DaBaby was receiving from the public, and suggested that heterosexual people were being treated unfairly. “Social media’s full of confusion. Words are often misconstrued. And to be honest with you, if homosexuals have more rights than heterosexual people, just say that,” T.I said in the video while driving. “Let’s let that be the law, is that the law? I just feel like, I respect gays, especially the ones who have the courage and bravery to step out and live in their truth, I respect that. But I respect it the same way if you’re a heterosexual person, I respect it the same way. So I ain’t even seen all the hoopla about, some of you motherfuckers just be up in arms fake caring just cause you ain’t got shit going on in your life over here.” Though T.I. stated that there “ain’t nothing in the world” that would make him hate someone based on who they love, he then criticized Lil Nas X’s music video, saying, “The performances and video, man I got a lot of respect for bruh because he had the courage to live his truth, but that shit ain’t for me… Just can’t look at it. But I feel the same way, and I don’t want my children seeing it, either.”

After receiving continued backlash on the internet, DaBaby issued a soft apology on Twitter, writing, “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. But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. Y’all business is y’all business.” In a separate tweet, the rapper addressed brands, networks, and fellow artists who criticized him. “For any brands, networks, or artists that like to profit off of Black rappers’ influence on the culture, without understanding it or having the patience to deal with what comes with the position we play in our culture. Keep yo money next time. Us ‘NIGGAS’ human too.” Despite acknowledging his insensitivity, DaBaby then promoted his upcoming concerts in Hidalgo and Corpus Christi, Texas, tweeting, “Other than that y’all cheer the fuck up & be proud of who you are cuz you can’t make me feel less of myself.”

On July 28, fashion company BoohooMAN announced that it would be ending its collaboration with the rapper following his homophobic comments. The brand had previously partnered with DaBaby on a 100-piece summer collection, which was launched in June. “BoohooMAN condemn the use of homophobic language and confirm we will no longer be working with DaBaby,” they said in a statement on Twitter. “Diversity and inclusion are part of the Boohoo Groups DNA and we pride ourselves on representing the diverse customers we serve across the globe. We stand by and support the LGBTQ+ community, and do not tolerate hate speech or discrimination in any form.”

Tory Lanez and Boosie both decided to chime in on DaBaby’s controversy on social media. Tory Lanez shared a message on Twitter, writing, “When did rap get so politically correct that u can’t speak your mind and have an opinion …. why the fuck was rap started?” Then he added that rappers should be able to speak their minds. “Rappers will not always be right, and u don’t have to agree. But they have a right to speak their mind,” he wrote. Boosie soon released his own statement in a video on Instagram. In the video, Boosie said he agreed with DaBaby’s Rolling Loud comments. He also criticized Lil Nas X and threatened to beat him up if he saw him dancing naked with boys on stage.

July 28: DaBaby drops “Giving What It’s Supposed to Give” music video

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Shortly after getting cut from BoohooMAN, DaBaby dropped the music videos for his single “Giving What It’s Supposed to Give,” where he seemed to address his homophobic comments once again. In the video, around the 1:40 mark, DaBaby held up a sign that said “AIDS” while rapping, “Bitch, we like AIDS, I’m on your ass, we on your bitch, we won’t go away.” The video ended with a message written in rainbow colors, which is a symbol for the LGBTQ community. “Don’t Fight Hate With Hate,” it said. “My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you.”

After his Rolling Loud performance, it appeared that the rapper had been removed from the Parklife Festival lineup. DaBaby was originally announced as a performer back in March alongside Young Thug and Megan Thee Stallion, but his name was suddenly missing from the festival’s most recent flyers. In a statement to TMZ, however, a rep for the North Carolina rapper said his removal from the Parklife lineup had nothing to do with his Rolling Loud comments. Instead, they said the decision to withdraw from the festival was made in response to COVID-19.

DaBaby was slated to perform at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago on Sunday, August 1, but festival organizers announced that he was cut from the lineup due to his controversial comments at Rolling Loud. “Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight,” they announced in a statement.

On August 2, two more festivals announced that DaBaby was dropped from their lineups. Governors Ball was the first to break the news with a statement on social media. “Founders Entertainment does not and and will not tolerate hate or discrimination of any kind. We welcome and celebrate the diverse communities that make New York City the greatest city in the world,” the statement read. Although the organizers did not name DaBaby in the statement, it was accompanied by a picture of the updated lineup, revealing that DaBaby had been removed. Shortly after, the Day N Vegas followed suit with a similar message. “DaBaby will no longer be appearing at Day N Vegas 2021. Roddy Ricch has been added to the lineup,” the statement reads on Instagram.

After being dropped from multiple festival lineups, DaBaby released a formal statement on Instagram. He began by addressing the immediate backlash to his Rolling Loud performance and his response afterward. “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,” he wrote. “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.” Then he thanked “the many people who came to me with kindness, who reached out to me privately to offer wisdom, education, and resources” before apologizing. “I want to apologize for the hurtful and triggering comments I made,” he added. “Again, I apologize for the misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I know education on this is important.”

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