DaBaby has received backlash following comments he made over the weekend about gay men and people with HIV.
Appearing at Rolling Loud Miami over the weekend, the North Carolina rapper could be heard saying in footage from his set: “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two or three weeks, put your cellphone light up.
“Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cellphone light up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone light up.”
He also claimed HIV will “make you die in two or three weeks”.
After many criticised the rapper’s statements as homophobic, he doubled down on his opinion on his Instagram stories with a lengthy 19 video response.
“What I do at a live show is for the audience at the live show. It’ll never translate correctly to somebody looking at a little five, six-second clip from their goddamn crib on their phone. It just don’t work like that,” the rapper said.
“Because, regardless of what y’all motherfuckers are talking about and how the internet twisted up my motherfucking words, me and all my fans at the show, the gay ones and the straight ones, we turned the fuck up.”
The UK’s leading HIV and Aids charity, Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), has responded to DaBaby’s comments, stating that they “perpetuate HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as spreading misinformation about HIV.”
“It’s wrong for people living with HIV to be made to feel lesser or excluded because of their diagnosis – it should be unacceptable in the music industry and in society at large,” said Richard Angell, THT’s campaigns director.
“Comments like DaBaby’s perpetuate HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as spreading misinformation about HIV,” he continued. “You can now live a long, healthy life with HIV thanks to medical progress when you’re diagnosed and accessing treatment.”
Medication that helps manage and stop the spread of HIV has been available since 1996.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEp) was first introduced in 2012, which can be taken by people who do not have HIV to prevent catching it, has helped to reduce infection numbers.
In September 2020, the government announced the PrEP grant determination for 2020-21, which meant councils in England could finally provide uncapped access to the game-changing HIV prevention drug.
Those who have HIV and are on treatment can be undetectable – meaning their blood carries such low amounts of the virus that they are unable to pass it on to others.
Meanwhile, T.I. has used Lil Nas X to make a bizarre defence of DaBaby’s homophobic comments, equating them to the ‘Montero’ rapper‘s openness about his sexuality in his music.
“For instance, the Lil Nas X shit. The performances and video, man I got a lot of respect for bruh because he had the courage to live his truth, but that shit ain’t for me… Just can’t look at it… And I don’t want my children seeing it, either,” he said.
He expanded on that comment later on in the video, saying, “If you have a Lil Nas X video, and him living his truth, you gone damn sure have people like DaBaby who are going to speak they truth. There ain’t nothing wrong with none of that. It ain’t got to be no hate, it’s all honesty.”