Rapper DaBaby’s career continues to take hit after hit as New York’s Governors Ball drops him from their forthcoming fall festival after his homophobic and sexist comments at last weekend’s Rolling Loud Miami festival. This is the second music festival DaBaby has been dropped from in the last 24 hours, preceded by Chicago’s Lollapalooza, who cancelled his set mere hours before Sunday’s scheduled performance.
“Founders Entertainment does not and will not tolerate hate or discrimination of any kind,” Governors Ball tweeted. “We welcome and celebrate the diverse communities that make New York City the greatest city in the world. Thank you to the fans who continue to speak up for what is right. Along with you, we will continue to use our platform for good.” The festival has not named his replacement for the September festival.
The removal comes after DaBaby’s Rolling Loud set in which he encouraged audience members to put their cell phone flashlights in the air if they “didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that will make you die in two to three weeks.” Those also invited to also shine a light were ladies whose “pussy smell like water,” and fellas who decline to “suck dick in the parking lot.”
On top of being grossly incorrect, the stigmatization of HIV/AIDS as a disease associated with having gay sex stinks of Reagan era ignorance, reinforcing misconceptions about how the disease spreads and the alienation of the queer community.
The “Rockstar” artist unfortunately only added fuel to the fire when he followed his set up with even more derogatory comments on Instagram. He made sure to clear up these comments in a later video, saying they weren’t directed at his LGBT+ fans because they are not “nasty” or “junkies.” He says he meant it toward a greater audience, which—if it’s not clear—does not make it any better.
Many musicians have stepped forward in condemnation of DaBaby’s comments and in support of the LGBT+ community. Collaborator Dua Lipa, who worked with DaBaby on her remix of the Future Nostalgia song “Levitating,” wrote in an Instagram story, “I’m surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments.”
Elton John tweeted: “This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
DaBaby’s Rolling Loud performance also kicked up dust after the rapper invited Tony Lanez on the stage prior to his homophobic comments. For many, the only reason Lanez’s name rings a bell is in association with the shooting involving Megan Thee Stallion last year, for which Lanez was charged with two counts of felony assault. Megan performed on the stage just prior to DaBaby’s set. As someone who built his career up following the release of Megan’s “Cash Shit,” that’s a lot of pointed disrespect.
It’s been radio silence from DaBaby since July 30, however he did follow-up all of his comments with an apology on July 27. “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.”
UPDATE, August 2, 12 p.m.: Las Vegas’ Day N Vegas is the next music festival to drop DaBaby from their lineup, replacing him with collaborator and “The Box” rapper Roddy Ricch.
UPDATE, 2:00 p.m: In a statement posted to both Instagram and Twitter, DaBaby apologized for his remarks once again. “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. I appreciate the many people who came to me with kindness, who reached out to me privately to offer wisdom, education, and resources. That’s what I needed and it was received.”
“I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made. Again, I apologize for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I knew education on this is important. Love to all. God bless. – DaBaby”