While anti-gay slurs and sentiments are present in other genres, the support of the “Suge” rapper’s antics prove the culture, although slightly evolved, still has a long way to go. Although homophobic f-bombs are rarely dropped on wax anymore and the once-popular phrase “no homo” has faded out of mainstream music, some artists still use their platforms to spread homophobia with encouragement from their peers.
The latest instance was sparked by DaBaby at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami last weekend (July 25). As VIBE reported, the rapper used a portion of his time onstage asking the audience to hold their cellphones to the sky as he declared, “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases, then put your cellphone lighter up.”
He continued, “Ladies, if your p**sy smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up,” before concluding with, “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d**k in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”
Video footage of the show went viral and the next day, DaBaby logged onto Instagram live and exacerbated the controversy. In the broadcast, the 29-year-old claimed that none of his LGBTQ fans had HIV, AIDS, or STIs because they were not “nasty gay n**gas” or “junkies.”
DaBaby also went on a Twitter rant, where he apologized to anyone impacted by HIV or AIDS, but stood by his commentary on the LGBTQ community.
“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 [prayer hands emoji],” he wrote, adding, “But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.”
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.
— DaBaby (@DaBabyDaBaby) July 27, 2021
The backlash resulted in DaBaby losing a brand deal with fast-fashion company boohooMAN, and being called out by Dua Lipa, Elton John, and Grammy award-nominated rapper Chika among those who decided to stand up against his homophobic remarks.
“I go hard on homophobic ‘celebrities’ because the visibility of their stupid words is widespread,” tweeted Chika. “So many queer children choose suicide over life because grown ass adults make their existence feel like a disgusting mistake. If any of you kids see this tweet, you are LOVED.”
She added in another tweet, “And to the silent black queer artists with bigger platforms than mine, we see y’all, too. Remember this next time you wanna kiss a girl to collect a check off of being a part-time member/ally. This is when it actually matters to be a *visible* queer celeb.”
I go hard on homophobic “celebrities” because the visibility of their stupid words is widespread.
So many queer children choose suicide over life because grown ass adults make their existence feel like a disgusting mistake.
If any of you kids see this tweet, you are LOVED.
— CHIKA ☁️ (@oranicuhh) July 29, 2021
Despite being held accountable by some, T.I., Boosie Badazz, and Tory Lanez all came to the defense of DaBaby. With their own struggles with homophobia, misogyny, and abuse allegations, the troublesome trio doubled down on their rap peer’s right to speak his mind.
Boosie, who has previously been outspoken on the sexual identity of others, shared his thoughts on DaBaby, adding slurs against Lil Nas X to his statement. During an Instagram live broadcast captured by media personality DJ Akademiks, the “Set It Off” rapper said the openly gay artist made it difficult for young males “tryna be straight.”
“Lil Nas X said he wanna perform naked on stage for charity. You don’t f**k with him like you f**k with DaBaby,” he remarked. “Be even-sided. You don’t feel that’s disrespect? Going dance naked. You don’t think that’s disrespect in front of boys who tryna be straight? It’s totally disrespect.”
The Baton Rouge rapper continued to violently assert, “If I’m at an awards and he go up there naked, I’m gonna drag his ass off stage and beat his ass.”
T.I.’s support of DaBaby also targeted the “Industry Baby” artist. As he and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris dodge sexual assault allegations, T.I. has continued to voice his uncensored, yet unwarranted opinions. As VIBE previously reported on July 27, the Atlanta rapper was called out by socialite Amber Rose for his comments on the popular Instagram-driven tabloid The Shade Room, in which he wrote, “If Lil Nas X can kick his s**t in peace…so should dababy [man shrugging emoji] #equality,” under an upload of DaBaby.
The “Swagga Like Us” rapper followed up with an Instagram live the next day, claiming the LGBTQ community bullies hip-hop artists.
“Now, I understand people saying that they feel it’s insensitive. I think you guys have to understand that onstage is not the place that rappers go to be sensitive and soothe everybody’s feelings,” he said. “If that is the case, why do words cause such a visceral reaction that will lead to someone trying to attack, villainize, demonize, crucify, condemn?”
The 40-year-old rapper continued, “That s**t is…Now you bullying. We all stood up on behalf of gays and lesbians and people in the gay community because we thought it was some bulls**t for y’all to have to be bullied. But I don’t think any of us did that to feel like you would now have the authority to come and bully us.”
His rant was captured and uploaded to social media by the blog The Neighborhood Talk.
Tory Lanez, who joined DaBaby onstage at Rolling Loud also offered offstage support. Although he did not explicitly mention DaBaby, he used Twitter to question who has the authority to speak freely in hip-hop music.
“When did rap get so politically correct that u can’t speak your mind and have an opinion,” he asked. “why the f**k was rap started ?… for us to speak our mind …. rappers will not always be right, and u don’t have to agree. But they have a right to speak their mind.”
When did rap get so politically correct that u can’t speak your mind and have an opinion …. why the fuck was rap started ?… for us to speak our mind …. rappers will not always be right, and u don’t have to agree . But they have a right to speak their mind .
— Tory Lanez (@torylanez) July 28, 2021
The Canadian artist may face actual consequences for his participation in DaBaby’s Rolling Loud performance. Lanez, not on the bill for the annual music festival, was brought out as a special guest by DaBaby, who performed after Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion.
As previously reported by VIBE, the “Say It” rap-singer’s surprise appearance may have violated a protection order that requires him to stay at least 100 yards away from Thee Stallion. He is currently under criminal investigation awaiting trial for allegedly shooting her in the foot during a July 2020 altercation. The 29-year-old pleaded not guilty to assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle in November 2020.
Lil Nas X has responded to comments regarding his music and sexuality. The Grammy award-winning artist used Twitter to clap back without directly naming names.
“I’m starting to think you ni**as gay too cuz yall stay on my d**k,” he asserted, adding in another tweet, “some of y’all not even mad that i’m gay, some of y’all mad that i’m gay and still succeeding.”
i’m starting to think you niggas gay too cuz yall stay on my dick
— nope ?? (@LilNasX) July 28, 2021
DaBaby’s response to all the outrage sparked by his words? New music. The rapper released a new song, “Giving What It’s Supposed to Give” with an accompanying video, claiming it was recorded the day before his Rolling Loud performance.
“Filmed the day before my Rolling Loud performance,” he wrote on Instagram. “it never seizes to amaze me the way God put me in situations I’m already equipped to handle. Enjoy.”
In the song, the North Carolina native raps, “B**ch, we like AIDS, I’m on your ass, we on your ass, b**ch, we won’t go away.” The music video, which he directed himself, ironically, closes with the message, “DONT FIGHT HATE WITH HATE” written in rainbow colors, followed by, “MY APOLOGIES FOR BEING ME THE SAME WAY YOU WANT THE FREEDOM TO BE YOU.”
Shortly after revealing his new track, DaBaby took to Instagram to speak directly to the controversy: “You ever wrote a video, you and 3 others produce it, you direct it while starring AND rapping in it, film the video for 16 HOURS straight wrap up at 4am, take a shower & jump on a jet to @rollingloud and with only 2 hours of rest give one of the BEST performances of the entire festival yet the most controversial and emotion provoking performance as well; due to things deemed ‘insensitive’ said during your performance even though you’re an ENTERTAINER, try to apologize and explain that you meant no harm & that you were only entertaining as you are paid to do.”
The long-form caption continued, “& have no problem with anyone’s sexual preference that is outside of yours, only to have a substantial amount of people refuse to understand your logic, tag along with a trending topic & play with your character and do everything they can to take money out of your pockets and food out your kids mouth, and have everybody around you panicking only for you to apologize anyway stand on the fact that you were entertaining and truly didn’t mean to offend anybody or start no commotion, although they’re currently offending you, & COINCIDENTALLY the video you were shooting till 4am the DAY OF @rollingloud touches on EVERY controversial topic trending in the headlines, so you then go against the grain in the opposite direction of every scared person around you & stay true to yourself & DROP DAT B**CH in the height of the commotion & show the world once again that you CANT BE F**KED WIT?? [sleeping face emoji].”
He concluded his diatribe with, “I have [man raising hand emoji]. I just did. God’s Work.”
Watch the video for “Giving What It’s Supposed To Give” below: