More repercussions and criticism arose for rapper DaBaby following his homophobic and HIV/AIDS-derogatory comments at Rolling Loud last weekend and his constant defenses and non-apologies throughout the week.
After being dropped by clothing brand BooHoo and fielding backlash from notable peers of the music industry, including Elton John and Dua Lipa, it seems that his comments have cost him his spot at Manchester, England’s Parklife 2021 music festival. DaBaby was scheduled to perform at the event in September, but an updated lineup card appeared this week that didn’t include his name. DaBaby was advertised with top-billing on previous lineup cards, including one promoted by the event’s Instagram account earlier this month.
While Parklife 2021 organizers haven’t commented publicly on why DaBaby was removed from the lineup, many believe that his near-daily defenses of his homophobic comments on Sunday were what led to the decision. Those representing DaBaby pushed back on any connection between his removal and his comments on Thursday, telling TMZ that “he pulled out of the festival months ago … in response to events being affected by COVID-19.” They attributed the Parklife 2021 advertisement from earlier this month with DaBaby’s name intact on it as “a mistake by the festival.”
Whether or not DaBaby’s appearance at the festival was a product of the controversy swirling around the artist, he has continued to draw criticism from figures within the music industry. Famed favorite of LGBTQ audiences Madonna weighed in. “A message to DaBaby – if you’re going to make hateful remarks to the LGBTQ+ community about HIV/AIDS then know your facts,” she said on Instagram alongside a video of DaBaby’s initial comments. “After decades of hard won scientific research— there are now life-saving medicines available to children born with HIV, to people who contract HIV through blood transfusions, dirty needles or exchange of bodily fluids.”
“I want to put my cellphone lighter up and pray for your ignorance, No one dies of AIDS in 2 or 3 weeks anymore,” she added. “People like you are the reason we are still living in a world divided by fear. All Human beings should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or religious beliefs.”
Prominent musician, producer and filmmaker Questlove also spoke out against DaBaby, crossing him off what he called his “dream list” for an updated version of the Summer of Soul festival. “I’m updating my list – because it’s 2021 and fuck the bullshit. I’m especially not here for any savagery (if you’re lost: Google the idiocy of the crossed out),” he said via Instagram. “I’m not trine be all performative smurf and create a social flogging or start some clickbait headlines. That’s missing the point. But right is right & his actions are wrong.
“Somebody Gotta say it: Homophobia/Transphobia/Xenophobia/Misogyny/Racism – this should go [without] saying is morally wrong. And not that fake hiding behind religion holier than thou morally wrong. But ‘that was fucked up’ & wrong,” he continued. “Huey Newton wisely stated in the early 70s that we as a people should never go so low in life (with what we been through) that we start oppressing/terrorizing the next man in the way we been terrorized for centuries.”
Pop artist Demi Lovato, who came out as nonbinary earlier this year, also criticized DaBaby’s statements on social media, posting a series of images deriding his interlude for perpetuating “the trope that queer men are promiscuous, dirty and disease-ridden.”
“HIV is not a ‘gay disease.’ For decades, people have used the association between gay men and HIV/AIDS as an excuse to perpetuate harmful, painful and false narratives about queer people,” Lovato’s post continued. “Spreading fear and stigma around a (completely manageable) virus creates shame and prevents people from getting tested, which puts people even more at risk.”
“We need to crush the stigma around what HIV/AIDS is and what it isn’t. But we aren’t going to be able to as long as straight people think it has nothing to do with them,” they added.
Once again, rapper T.I. came to DaBaby’s defense via Instagram Live Wednesday, saying that the gay community is “bullying” rappers. “We all stood up on behalf of gays and lesbians and people in the gay community because we thought it was some bullshit for y’all to have to be bullied,” he said. “But I don’t think any of us did that to feel like you would now have the authority to come and bully us.”
Rapper Boosie Badazz, who has a long homophobic and transphobic history of his own, also stood behind DaBaby while making physical threats against openly gay rapper Lil Nas X. “Lil Nas X said he wanna perform naked on stage for charity. You don’t fuck with him like you fuck with DaBaby,” he said. “Be even-sided. You don’t feel that’s disrespect? … You don’t think that’s disrespect in front of boys who tryna be straight? It’s totally disrespect. If I’m at an awards and he go up there naked, I’m gonna drag his ass off stage and beat his ass.”
Tory Lanez, better known for allegedly shooting rapper Megan Thee Stallion than anything in his music career, offered a defense of the rapper who brought him onstage at Rolling Loud as a surprise, likely violating a protection order that prohibits him from coming within 100 yards of Thee Stallion.
“When did rap get so politically correct that u can’t speak your mind and have an opinion,” Lanez said via Twitter. “Rappers will not always be right, and u don’t have to agree. But they have a right to speak their mind.”
Black queer musical artist AdrianXpression offered the best retort to Lanez’ comment, saying “Rap (which you don’t do lol) was made to give a voice to oppressed black ppl in a white supremacist society that was fucking them up. Why would you want to then use that art form to oppress other groups of (black) people by being homophobic? It makes no sense.”
DaBaby Homophobia: Previously on Towleroad
Photo courtesy of A-Side Entertainment/Creative Commons