Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, rapper name “DaBaby,” was born in Ohio but moved to North Carolina eight years later. After graduating Charlotte’s Vance High School, he attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for two years. Now 29-years-old, Kirk is worth over 3 million dollars and has collaborated on singles with Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion and Post Malone.
While performing at the Rolling Loud music festival on July 25, DaBaby shocked the audience by saying “put your cell phone lights up [if] you didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS or other STDs that’ll make you die in two to three weeks.” He went on to rattle off other crude remarks, aimed at gay men.
Videos of DaBaby’s vulgar and homophobic words went viral. Immediately after an influx of concerned messages made their way into DaBaby’s inbox he tweeted, “I told you y’all digested that wrong, but I ain’t gone lie I’m impressed. Now show this same amount of support when a racist cop kill one of our black ass… YA NOT.”
His attempt at deflection, however, has gone largely ignored. Over 7,000 fans and fellow performers commented on DaBaby’s apparent lack of remorse. Nonbinary black rapper Dijah SB replied to the Tweet with “there’s something seriously wrong with you.”
Sensing the public’s disquiet, DaBaby tweeted again on July 27, saying, “anybody who has ever been affected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I had no intention of offending anybody.” It was too little too late for musicians like Elton John and Dua Lipa.
Elton John took to Twitter as well, publishing a thread of information about HIV/AIDS. His original post reads, “This [DaBaby’s words] fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
He was soon joined by Dua Lipa who posted on Instagram, “I don’t recognize this as the same person I worked with.” She then clarified that she stands “100 percent with the LGBTQ community.”
DaBaby then made a shocking reversal in which he said the following on his Instagram account: “What me and my fans do at the live show, it don’t concern you n***as on the internet, or you bitter bi***s on the internet. It’s not your business.”
To make matters even worse for himself, DaBaby released a new music video on July 28.
Titled “Giving What It’s Supposed to Give,” this video shows DaBaby sandwiched between two men who are fighting. He then holds up a sign that reads “AIDS” and shoots them both. The music video ends with the words “don’t fight hate with hate” in rainbow lettering and the phrase “my apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you” underneath.
Robert Stafford, queer black singer Lil Nas X’s father, was not impressed with any of DaBaby’s antics. Lil Nas X had previously worked with DaBaby on the song “Panini.” Although Nas X has yet to comment, Stafford’s Instagram Story featured a photo of DaBaby along with the words “bruh sit down, you had your time.”
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