Earlier this month, representatives from various U.S. HIV organizations signed an open letter to DaBaby after the Charlotte rapper made homophobic remarks during his set at Rolling Loud Miami 2021. “We must address the miseducation about HIV, expressed in your comments, and the impact it has on various communities,” the letter read. Additionally, DaShawn Usher, GLAAD’s associate director for communities of color and one of the letter’s signatories, said, “Together with leaders in the HIV field, we are asking for a meeting with DaBaby to educate and enlighten him.”
According to a press release, DaBaby met virtually with leaders from several H.I.V. organizations on August 25. During the meeting, they “discussed HIV history and education, as well as the groups’ work in Black, LGBTQ, and faith communities.” In a statement included with the press release, the leaders said, “DaBaby was genuinely engaged, apologized for the inaccurate and hurtful comments he made about people living with HIV, and received our personal stories and the truth about HIV and its impact on Black and LGBTQ communities with deep respect.”
The August 25 meeting with DaBaby featured members from Black AIDS Institute, Gilead Sciences COMPASS Initiative Coordinating Centers, GLAAD, National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Positive Women’s Network-USA, Prevention Access Campaign (U=U), the Southern AIDS Coalition, and Transinclusive Group.
Pitchfork has reached out to DaBaby’s representatives for additional comment and information.
At Rolling Loud, DaBaby said, “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 cellphone lighter up,” and also, “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up!” Not long after his Rolling Loud performance, the rapper said that his gay fans aren’t “nasty gay n—-as” or “junkies.”
DaBaby has attempted multiple apologies in the wake of his remarks. On July 27, he tweeted, “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.” The following day, he shared a music video that found him holding a sign that says “AIDS.” The video ends with a message spelled out in rainbow lettering: “Don’t Fight Hate With Hate,” as well as another apology.
On August 2, DaBaby wrote on Instagram, “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 know education on this is important. Love to all. God Bless.” One week later, however, he deleted the post containing his apology.
Since deleting his statement, DaBaby has released a video for his “Whole Lotta Money” freestyle. DaBaby edited the visual, which he labeled as “starring DaBaby cancelled ass,” referring to the backlash to his comments, which has included multiple festival appearance cancellations, reduced radio airplay of “Levitating” remix, and condemnation from Dua Lipa, Elton John, and others. DaBaby also appeared with Kanye West and Marilyn Manson at West’s Chicago event for Donda.