“It fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic,” Elton John wrote on Twitter.
Rapper DaBaby has been widely criticized by celebrities and activists for his comments about people living with HIV/AIDS.
DaBaby, known for his hit “Rockstar” and Dua Lipa’s song “Levitating,” asked fans Sunday night at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami to shine flashlights on their cell phones if they “don’t come in tonight with HIV/AIDS, any of those deadly sexually transmitted diseases that you will die from in two to three weeks,” along with further rude comments about gays and women, according to the video that circulated.
The rapper responded to his remarks Monday on Instagram Live, saying that both gay and straight people enjoyed his live performance. He then said on Twitter that people living with AIDS and HIV have a “right to be upset” and that he had “no intention of offending anyone.”
A spokesman for DaBaby did not respond to a request for further comment.
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.
— DaBaby (@DaBabyDaBaby) July 27, 2021
Celebrities-especially members of the music industry-and activists were quick to criticize his remarks.
Dua Lipa spoke out on Instagram, telling her fans that she was “horrified” by DaBaby’s comments and that she didn’t recognize the man she worked with.
“I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I support the LGTBQ community 100%,” she wrote. “We must unite to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS.”
Music icon Elton John, an openly gay man and longtime HIV advocate, wrote in a tweet that went viral that he was “shocked” to learn of the rapper’s remarks.
“It fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic,” he said.
In an infographic by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for the fight against HIV/AIDS, the singer noted that “musicians’ job is to bring people together.”
(1/5) We've been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.
The facts are: pic.twitter.com/MqCv3vWiz2
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) July 28, 2021
Pop star Demi Lovato, who recently declared herself non-binary and uses gender-neutral pronouns, shared an Instagram gallery post from makeup artist and gay activist Matt Bernstein, who explains the danger behind DaBaby’s comments. They titled the post “Hot People Listening to the Original Version of ‘Levitation,'” referring to a version of the song that doesn’t feature DaBaby.
“Moment” singer Victoria Monet suggested replacing DaBaby’s verse in the song by Dua Lipa.
If she would like to replace DaBaby’s verse on levitating I’m totally available https://t.co/UNVhH0gDEU
— Victoria Monét (@VictoriaMonet) July 27, 2021
Candice Dillard Bassett, who stars in the series “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” also said she was concerned about the comments.
“Referring to HIV and AIDS as a ‘deadly disease’ that kills people in ‘2-3 weeks’ is disgusting and dangerous at best.” For example. Why do you say that?” – she wrote on Twitter.
Dababy has some explaining to do. I’m just really bothered by what he said. To refer to HIV and AIDS as a “deadly disease” that kills people in “2-3 weeks” is disgusting and dangerous at best. Like. Why would you say that?
— CANDIACE (@TherealCANDIACE) July 26, 2021
On Wednesday, boohooMAN, a U.K.-based online fashion retailer, condemned the “use of homophobic language” and said it would no longer partner with the rapper.
boohooMAN condemn the use of homophobic language and confirm we will no longer be working with DaBaby.
Diversity and inclusion are part of the boohoo Groups DNA and we pride ourselves on representing the diverse customers we serve across the globe.
— boohooMAN (@boohooMAN) July 28, 2021
At least one celebrity has stood up for DaBaby: fellow rapper T.I. Performer commented on the viral video post on Instagram and said: “If Lil Nas X can kick his balls in peace… then so should Dababy #equality.”
After the backlash, he later said on Instagram Live Monday that he respects gays and compared DaBaby’s tirade to Lil Nas X’s new “Industry Baby” video, in which the rapper proudly declares: “I’m queer.”
“If you have a Lil Nas X video and it lives up to its truth, you probably have people like DaBaby speaking their truth,” he said on Instagram Live. “There’s nothing wrong with that, there’s no hate – everything is honest. Everyone is living their truth.”