Rapper DaBaby has received widespread criticism from celebrities and activists for his comments on people living with HIV / AIDS.
DaBaby, known for his hit song “Rock Star” and for starring in Dua Lipa’s “Levitating”, asked fans at the Rolling Loud Music Festival in Miami on Sunday night to light their cell phone flashlights if they were “not with HIV today / AIDS, each of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that will kill you in two to three weeks, “along with other rude comments about gay men and women, according to a now viral video.
The rapper addressed his remarks on Instagram Live Monday, claiming gay and straight fans alike enjoyed his live show. Then he said on Twitter that people with AIDS and HIV “have the right to be upset” and that he “has no intention of offending anyone.”
A DaBaby representative did not return a request for additional comments.
Celebrities – especially from the music industry – and activists were quick to criticize his comments.
Dua Lipa responded to the comments on an Instagram story, telling her fans that she was “appalled” by DaBaby’s comments and did not recognize the person she was working with.
“I know that my fans know where my heart is and that I am 100% with the LGTBQ community,” she wrote. “We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance surrounding HIV / AIDS.”
Music icon Elton John, who is openly gay and a longtime HIV proponent, wrote in a now viral tweet how “shocked” he was to hear of the rapper’s statements.
“This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic,” he said.
The singer announced in an infographic for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which raises money and awareness for the fight against HIV / AIDS, that “the job of musicians is to bring people together”.
Pop star Demi Lovato, who recently turned out to be non-binary using gender-neutral pronouns, shared an Instagram gallery post by makeup artist and queer activist Matt Bernstein explaining the danger behind DaBaby’s comments. They titled the post “hot people listen to the original version of the levitation” and referred to the version of the song that does not feature DaBaby.
“Moment” singer Victoria Monét offered to replace DaBaby’s verse in Dua Lipa’s song.
Candiace Dillard Bassett, who starred on “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” also said she bothered the comments.
“Calling HIV and AIDS a ‘fatal disease’ that kills people in ‘2-3 weeks’ is disgusting and dangerous at best. Like. Why would you say that?” she tweeted.
On Wednesday, boohooMAN, a UK-based online fashion retailer, condemned “the use of homophobic language” and said it would no longer work with the rapper.
At least one celebrity has come to DaBaby’s defense: fellow rapper TI the performer commented on an Instagram post of the viral video, saying, “If Lil Nas X can step in peace … Dababy should #equality. ”
After the backlash, he later said on an Instagram Live on Monday that he respects gays and compared DaBaby’s swear word to Lil Nas X’s new “Industry Baby” video, in which the rapper proudly declares “I’m queer”.
“If you have the Lil Nas X video and he’s living his truth, damn sure you’re going to have people like DaBaby telling the truth,” he said on Instagram Live. “There’s nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t have to be hate – it’s all honesty. Everyone lives in their truth. “
A TI representative did not return a request for comment.
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