DaBaby has apologized on Twitter for the “insensitive” comments he made during his set at a music festival and on his Instagram stories over the weekend.
The controversy began when the 29-year-old rapper made some anti-gay remarks on stage at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami on Sunday, and he was quickly accused of spreading harmful misinformation about HIV and AIDS.
“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, put your cellphone light up,” DaBaby told the crowd.
“Fellas, if you ain’t suck a nigga dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone light up. Keep it fucking real,” he added.
After videos of his speech on stage started circulating on social media, fans were quick to call DaBaby out for his comments, which many deemed “dangerous and harmful.”
Musician Elton John shared that he was "shocked" by DaBaby's remarks, and that such misinformation "fuels stigma and discrimination."
In response to the criticism he received, DaBaby went on Instagram to address his remarks in a series of videos posted to his story, claiming that the internet “twisted” his words — only to spark a ton of further backlash.
“Me and all my fans at the show, the gay ones and the straight ones, we turnt the fuck up,” he began. “I said, ‘If you don’t got AIDS, put a cellphone light up.’ I said, ‘If you ain’t suck a nigga dick in the parking lot, put your cellphones light up.’ So I could drop my next song. I wasn't going on no rant.”
“All the lights went up, gay or straight,” he went on. “You wanna know why? Because even my gay fans don’t got fucking AIDS, stupid ass niggas. They don’t got AIDS. My gay fans, they take care of themselves. They ain’t got no nasty gay niggas, see what I’m saying? They ain’t no junkies on the street.”
His comments did not sit well among fans, with many expressing their anger on social media at him for perpetuating the stigma of people living with HIV and AIDS.
“Not DaBaby saying gay people with AIDS are nasty, junkies, don’t take care of themselves and not classy,” one person tweeted. “It’s shit like this that perpetuates stigma of people with AIDS, especially gay people with AIDS. So tired of rappers and their uneducated homophobic opinions. SHUT UP!”
The remarks also were condemned by Dua Lipa, on whose song “Levitating” DaBaby made a guest appearance.
Dua Lipa shared a statement to her Instagram story saying that she was “surprised and horrified” at the rapper’s remarks, and that she stands “100% with the LGBTQ community” before unfollowing him entirely.
Singer Demi Lovato also reposted crucial information about HIV and AIDS to their Instagram account in a bid to stop the spread of harmful misinformation.
On Tuesday, DaBaby logged on to Twitter to address the backlash again, this time issuing an apology within a series of tweets.
“Anyone 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,” he wrote.
“But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you,” he continued. “y’all business is y’all business.”
And he then drew attention to his position within the Black community in a controversial follow-up tweet that has stirred mixed reactions from fans.
“& 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. #GodBless”
“Other than that y’all can cheer the fuck up & be proud of who you are cuz you can’t make me feel less of myself,” he added.