Speaking to the crowd at the Rolling Loud festival on Sunday, 29-year-old rapper 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.”
Later he offered an “apology” for his remarks last week in his "Giving What It's Supposed to Give" music video, which included a title card that read: "Don't fight hate with hate. My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you."
Following the backlash, he apologized again with a lengthier response on Instagram, calling his comments about HIV/AIDS "misinformed."
Not long after his concert speech went viral, a slew of LGBTQ+ activists, artists and allies took to social media to share their thoughts.
One of the biggest names in music, Sir Elton John himself was among the first to condemn the rapper’s actions.
On Twitter, he claims he was “shocked to read” about Dababy’s words.
"This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic," he wrote.
"Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalised people in our communities. A musician's job is to bring people together."
Recently, pop icon and longtime AIDS activist Madonna commented on the news. She penned a message to DaBaby along with s, posting a video of his remarks on her Instagram account and writing "If you're going to make hateful remarks to the LGBTQ+ community about HIV/AIDS then know your facts."
"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," she wrote. "These new ARV's can keep a person with AIDS alive for the rest of their lives!!! AID's is not transmitted by standing next to someone in a crowd."
Even recent collaborator Dua Lipa who teamed with the rapper on a remix of her song "Levitating," sent out a statement on her Instagram stories Tuesday. Saying that she was "surprised and horrified at DaBaby's comments."
She wrote, "We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS."
Even more,11 national LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS organizations penned an open letter to the rapper on Wednesday, requesting a private meeting to discuss the facts about HIV and an opportunity to share his education with his fans.
"We heard your inaccurate and harmful comments at Rolling Loud and have read your Instagram apology," the statement reads. "However, at a time when HIV continues to disproportionately impact Black Americans and queer and transgender people of color, a dialogue is critical. We must address the miseducation about HIV, expressed in your comments, and the impact it has on various communities."
Over the course of the week, various music festivals have dropped the rapper from their lineup.
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