OPINION: The controversial rapper’s performance and cringy remarks at Rolling Loud Miami were uncalled for. But just like hate itself, it has no rhyme or reason.
If there was ever a moment in pop culture to just yell “why,” DaBaby’s performance at Rolling Loud Miami was a textbook example.
He ducked a shoe thrown at him, and called it a singular variation of Adidas (there’s no such thing as an “Adida”). Why?
He made it a point to troll Megan Thee Stallion, by surprising the crowd (and offering them $1 million to guess who was hiding in a bizarre costume) with a guest performance by the man who allegedly shot her in the feet last summer, Tory Lanez. Why?
But before that, he decided to go on a sexist, homophobic, HIV-phobic, STI-stigmatizing rant while asking his thousands of fans to join in by raising the lights of their cell phones. Why?
“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,” DaBaby says to the crowd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. “Ladies, if your p—y smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up! Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d— in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up!”
Some things are just so easy to torch that it’s not even funny. For whatever reason, DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, is already chart-topping, Grammy-nominated, and critically acclaimed — but still decided to choose chaos. This man has millions of dollars and thousands of fans that have appreciated his music and he decides to alienate them publicly? Why?
The answer is simple: Homophobia will drive people to self-sabotage their own successful careers.
Why is the DaBaby worried about what other men are sucking in the parking lot? Unless there is something else he would like to share with us, none of this makes sense or matters. Why is he concerned about the sexual health statuses and vaginal pH of his fans? I’m beginning to sense a “doth thou protest too much” energy that makes all of this even more bizarre than it needs to be. It’s clear DaBaby is projecting — what exactly remains a mystery — but it’s not a good look at all.
Just when you thought a public relations team would intervene to help secure his bag — nope, DaBaby still had more to say.
In a 19-segment Instagram story posted on Monday, the rapper pulled the you-were-not-there-in-person-so-you-don’t-understand-the-full-context card.
“Y’all talking, y’all n—as shut the f— up,” he said on Instagram. “You n—as that ain’t at the show, the show was for the n—-as who paid the money and took the time out their life to come enjoy the show. Not you motherf—ers watching it on the internet, at the crib. No n—a, get your tickets. Come f— with the live show, killa, gay or straight.”
Double-downing on his offensive comments about people living with STIs, DaBaby said “all the lights went on” after he told fans to put up their cellphone lights because even his “gay fans don’t got f—ing AIDS, stupid a– n—as. They don’t got AIDS. My gay fans, they take care of themselves. They ain’t no nasty gay n—as. See what I’m saying? They ain’t no junkies in the street. The hell you talking about, n—as? Then I said if you ain’t sucking di– in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up. You know what my gay fans did? Put that motherf—ing light up, n—a, ’cause my gay fans ain’t going for that. They got class. They ain’t sucking no di– in no parking lot. N—a, you gotta get a room. A good one, five-star hotel. Even my gay fans got standards.”
Pause: “Even my gay fans got standards.” I cannot.
As if the dumpster fire of this entire situation couldn’t get worse — a man who has no business speaking on any controversies outside of his very own decided to join the debauchery.
Yes, T. I., who continues to, alongside his wife, Tiny, deny allegations of sexual assault brought by multiple women who accused the couple of drugging and assaulting them, thought that he should come to DaBaby’s defense.
T.I. and Tameka “Tiny” Harris attend 2019 Black Music Honors at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on September 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Black Music Honors)
“If Lil Nas X can kick his s–t in peace… so should DaBaby,” wrote T.I. in a comment posted on Instagram where he compared DaBaby’s trash remarks to Lil Nas X’s music videos, adding a shrugging emoji and “#equality.”
At this point, you begin to forget that these are grown-ass adults, who are also fathers, acting like elementary school children with no sense of critical thinking, comprehension, and social awareness. What’s their obsession with Lil Nas X? Why even try to enter him in this godforsaken chat? Why drop the name of a gay rapper who is minding his own business to try to justify the homophobia of another?
Again, the hatred is so real that it will drive people to do stupid things to themselves.
When we say homophobia is more contagious than the delta variant, this is what we mean.
DaBaby could have simply rapped the redundant flows of his songs on stage, made his money, and kept it moving. But instead, his infatuation with imaginary men performing oral sex in a parking lot got the best of him. I would say that he should seek some level of counseling for him to unpack this, but I would rather him just learn to keep his naughty thoughts to himself.
Just like the pandemic, we must remain vigilant to the rampant homophobia that’s been popping off lately — even if that means socially distancing ourselves from DaBaby’s music altogether.
Ernest Owens is the Editor at Large of Philadelphia magazine and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. The award-winning journalist has written for The New York Times, NBC News, USA Today and several other major publications. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and ernestowens.com.
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