Elton John has weighed in on DaBaby’s homophobic comments at the Rolling Loud festival last weekend.
“We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show,” the singer-songwriter wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
John continued, “HIV has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children and the most vulnerable people in our communities. In America, a gay black man has a 50% lifetime chance of contracting HIV. Stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality is a huge driver of this vulnerability. We need to break down the myths and judgements and not fuel these.
“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. Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalized people in our communities. A musician’s job is to bring people together.”
In 1992, John created the nonprofit Elton John AIDS Foundation, which supports innovative HIV prevention, education programs, direct care and support services to people living with HIV.
During his performance at the hip hop festival Sunday night, DaBaby encouraged the audience to put their cell phone flashlights in the air if they “didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that will make you die in two to three weeks.”
Pop star Dua Lipa, who collaborated with DaBaby on a remix of her hit song “Levitating,” also took to social media to condemn the rapper’s comments.
“I’m surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments,” Lipa wrote on her Instagram story. “I really don’t recognize this as the person I worked with. 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.”
In an apology posted to Twitter on Tuesday, DaBaby wrote, “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.”
He continued, “For any brands, networks, or artists that like to profit off of Black rappers influence on the culture, without understanding it or having the patience to deal with what comes with the position we play in our culture. Keep yo money next time.”
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