After being slammed by fans and fellow artists like Elton John and Dua Lipa, DaBaby is addressing his homophobic and inaccurate comments while on stage at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami on Sunday.
The rapper dropped a music video featuring a pseudo-apology on Wednesday, accompanied by lengthy, defensive Instagram posts, complaining that a "substantial amount of people refuse to understand" logic.
The video for the rapper's new song "Giving What It's Supposed to Give," which wrapped filming the morning of DaBaby's outburst in Miami, features him holding up a sign reading "AIDS." At the end credits, rainbow letters display the message: "Don't fight hate with hate. My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you."
The song also features the lyrics: "B----, we like AIDS, I'm on your ass, we on your ass, b----, we won't go 'way."
After taking the stage at the music festival on Sunday, the rapper greeted his audience with a homophobic rant.
"If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases, that'll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up," he said. "Fellas, if you ain't sucking d--- in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up."
The comments quickly led artists like John and Lipa, the latter of whom collaborated with DaBaby on her "Levitating" remix, to condemn his words on social media. DaBaby was also dropped by the clothing brand boohooMAN.
"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," John tweeted Wednesday.
In a series of tweets, the star also shared statements and statistics from his Elton John AIDS Foundation. "HIV misinformation and homophobia have no place in the music industry. We must break down the stigma around HIV and not spread it," he wrote. "As musicians, it's our job to bring people together."
He also corrected DaBaby's false claim that HIV/AIDS "make you die in two to three weeks."
"You can live a long and healthy life with HIV. Treatment is so advanced that with one pill a day, HIV can become undetectable in your body so you can't pass it onto other people," John tweeted.
Lipa similarly criticized DaBaby's comments in her Instagram Stories on Tuesday.
"I'm surprised and horrified at DaBaby's comments. I really don't recognize this as the person I worked with," the singer wrote. "I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100% with the LGBTQ community. We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS."
On Tuesday, DaBaby apologized for his words in a tweet.
"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 🙏🏾" he said. "But the LGBT community… I ain't trippin on y'all, do you. y'all business is y'all business."
Many people weren't satisfied with his statement, with one commenter writing, "This is what you call an apology? If our business is our business why TF did you completely bring us up out of the blue in the middle of a set? Clearly we've got your mind."
On Wednesday, the artist seemed to backtrack from his earlier tweet, sharing a rambling post on Instagram complaining that people were trying to "take money out of [his] pockets."
"You ever wrote a video, you and 3 others produce it, you direct it while starring AND rapping in it, film the video for 16 HOURS straight wrap up at 4am, take a shower & jump on a jet to @rollingloud and with only 2 hours of rest give one of the BEST performances of the entire festival," the message began. "yet the most controversial and emotion provoking performance as well; due to things deemed 'insensitive' said during your performance even though you're an ENTERTAINER, try to apologize and explain that you meant no harm & that you were only entertaining as you are paid to do, & have no problem with anyone's sexual preference that is outside of yours."
He continued, "only to have a substantial amount of people refuse to understand your logic, tag along with a trending topic & play with your character and do everything they can to take money out of your pockets and food out your kids mouth, and have everybody around you panicking only for you to apologize anyway stand on the fact that you were entertaining and truly didn't mean to offend anybody or start no commotion, although they're currently offending you."
The North Carolina native also championed his music video, saying he couldn't be 'f---ed wit' and was doing "god's work."
"You then go against the grain in the opposite direction of every scared person around you & stay true to yourself & DROP DAT B---- & show the world once again that you CANT BE F---ED WIT?😴 I have🙋🏾♂️. I just did. God's Work," he continued.
In another Instagram post to promote the music video, shared a few hours earlier, DaBaby said, "It never seizes to amaze me the way God puts me in situations I'm already equipped to handle. Enjoy."
These posts, including DaBaby's admission that his video was shot before Rolling Loud, elicited strong reactions on social media, with some wondering if he knowingly said hateful things to create a scandal and get attention for his new song.
"I know DaBaby didn't stir up all this controversy just to promote a new song," one commenter tweeted.
Even RuPaul's Drag Race star Denali Foxx weighed in, asking Lollapalooza to cancel the rapper's upcoming set at the Chicago music festival this weekend.