During his set, the North Carolina rapper made derogatory comments about the LGBTQ+ community to the crowd – “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lighter up” – and attacked people living with HIV and AIDS: “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 cell phone lighter up.”
After receiving a social media backlash, DaBaby initially refused to apologise, instead calling those who criticised him “bitter bitches”, while suggesting that his comments were part of his performance at the live show: “What I do […] is for the audience at the live show. It’ll never translate correctly to somebody looking at a little five, six-second clip from they goddamn crib on they phone. It just don’t work like that,” the rapper said via Instagram stories.
Yesterday, Dua Lipa, who collaborated with DaBaby on a remix for her hit song Levitating, condemned his comments on her own Instagram story. “I’m surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments,” she wrote. “I really don’t recognize this as the person I worked with. I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100% with the LGBTQ community. We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS.”
Although DaBaby didn’t respond to Lipa directly, he seemingly buckled under growing pressures to further acknowledge his disparaging comments. On Twitter, he posted:
“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.”
But DaBaby’s Rolling Loud set wasn’t controversial just because of his homophobic rant.
He also brought Tory Lanez – who is currently awaiting trial on charges of shooting Megan Thee Stallion last year – out on stage to perform their recent collaboration Skat. Prior to working with Lanez, DaBaby had featured on two of Megan Thee Stallion’s tracks, 2019’s Cash Shit and Cry Baby, from her debut album Good News.
DaBaby’s set at Rolling Loud took place immediately after Megan Thee Stallion’s performance. An audience member threw a shoe at DaBaby, although it’s not clear what their motive was.
Lil Nas X’s father, Robert Stafford, has called DaBaby out via Instagram and singer-songwriter Victoria Monét even offered to replace the rapper’s verse on Levitating. Some Twitter users suggested that Lipa should remix the song a second time, this time featuring only LGBTQ+ artists such as Monét and Lil Nas X.