Rapper DaBaby has responded after he was criticised for making seemingly homophobic comments at a Miami gig.
Videos on social media show him telling the crowd: “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.”
He also targeted gay men in references to other sexual activities, asking those who did not take part in them to “put your cellphone light up”.
DaBaby defended his comments and said his words had been twisted. Pic: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
DaBaby’s words at the Rolling Loud Miami festival were condemned by social media users as homophobic, but the rapper, real name Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, appeared to double-down in a lengthy Instagram response.
He said across 19 videos: “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.
“Because, regardless of what y’all m************ are talking about and how the internet twisted up my m************ words, me and all my fans at the show, the gay ones and the straight ones, we turned the f*** up.”
He also hit out at people who were not at the show, saying they should “shut the f*** up” and encouraged them to go watch him live.
DaBaby also went on to say: “Even my gay fans don’t got f****** AIDS… they don’t got AIDS.
“My gay fans, they take care of theyself, they ain’t going for that… they ain’t no junkies. I said if you ain’t sucking **** in the parking lot, put your cellphone light up. You know what my gay fans did? Put that m************ light up.
“My gay fans ain’t going for that. They got class.”
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He added that people should leave his gay fans alone and warned against making them uncomfortable.
Among the voices criticising DaBaby was the Terrence Higgins Trust, a UK-based HIV charity, who accused the rapper of spreading misinformation and discrimination.
In a statement to PinkNews, campaigns director Richard Angell said: “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 musical industry and in society at large.
“Comments like DaBaby’s perpetuate HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as spreading misinformation about HIV.
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“You can now live a long, healthy life with HIV thanks to medical progress when you’re diagnosed and accessing treatment.
“That’s why it’s important to challenge anything that deters people from testing and learning the facts about HIV.”
DaBaby also drew criticism at the event after bringing on fellow rapper Tory Lanez to perform.
Lanez is accused of shooting Megan Thee Stallion, who performed immediately before DaBaby, in the foot last year – allegations he denies.
In October, Lanez was charged with assault on an unnamed woman and weapons charges, and the case is ongoing, but a protective order was handed to Stallion, ordering Lanez to stay 100m away from her.
Sky News has contacted DaBaby’s management for comment.