DaBaby apologizes for his homophobic rant that left Elton John ‘shocked’

A man in an orange coat and white hoodie holding a microphone
DaBaby, seen performing in 2020, has addressed the backlash sparked by his homophobic comments.
(Noel Vasquez / Getty Images for Hennessy)

Amid mounting public outrage, and harsh criticism from Elton John and Dua Lipa, rapper DaBaby has apologized for his homophobic remarks at Sunday’s Rolling Loud music festival in Miami.

After initially doubling down on his offensive behavior and dismissing his detractors, the hip-hop artist acknowledged Tuesday that his widely condemned comments about gay people and HIV/AIDS were “insensitive.”

He did not respond to the backlash surrounding his choice to invite Canadian rapper Tory Lanez onstage shortly after Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion performed. Lanez was charged last year with shooting Megan Thee Stallion with a semiautomatic firearm.

“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,” DaBaby tweeted Tuesday. “So my apologies ... But the LGBT community... I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.”

“Other than that y’all cheer the f— up & be proud of who you are cuz you can’t make me feel less of myself,” he added before plugging a couple of his upcoming shows.

Shortly after Megan Thee Stallion’s set at Rolling Loud, fellow rapper DaBaby brought Tory Lanez onstage and went on a homophobic and sexist rant.

July 27, 2021

Before and after issuing the brief apology, DaBaby attempted to redirect the conversation to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, challenging his critics to “show the same amount of support when a racist cop kill one of our black a—.”


“& 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 us ‘N—’ human too,” he added in a follow-up tweet.

Twitter was not having it, accusing the “Rockstar” hitmaker of using Black trauma as a shield to dodge accountability for his actions, which included shaming gay men for oral sex and blaming them for the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“Why are you bringing up police brutality to deflect??” one person tweeted. “Very strange! There are hundreds of thousands of people fighting for black peoples lives everyday helping/doing more then you will ever do!”

“How much of a professional victim must you be to blame YOUR actions on everyone else?” wrote another. “What does police brutality have to do with the fact YOU made shitty comments about the lgbtqia+. you got no respect for anyone why u expect ppl to respect u.”

The 29-year-old rapper, born Jonathan Kirk, was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle.

Jan. 8, 2021

Several argued that DaBaby’s calls to support the Black community rang especially hollow, considering his ongoing relationship with Lanez, who was charged with shooting Megan Thee Stallion in the foot.


The celebrated “Savage” rapper, who has featured DaBaby on multiple tracks, once blasted her former collaborator for sharing a tweet that made light of the shooting, according to Vulture. (DaBaby later claimed to have retweeted the post by mistake.)

“You must be high,” tweeted journalist Ernest Owens in response to DaBaby’s recent Twitter activity. “Black queer women created #BlackLivesMatter — the community that you made your sexist, homophobic comments at. Funny how you can’t even show that same amount of support when another Black man shoots at a Black woman you collaborated with.”

“Not sure what police brutality has to do with your homophobia, support of an abuser that shot a black woman and your overall misogynistic ways,” wrote another person. “Black men like you bring down the community to be real. Take accountability so that you can grow as a person.”

Earlier this week, DaBaby reacted to the firestorm following his Rolling Loud set by claiming that his words had been “twisted” and insisting that people who didn’t attend the show “wasn’t supposed to see that sh— anyway.”

Rapper Tory Lanez has pleaded not guilty through his attorney to felony assault charges in the July shooting of hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Nov. 19, 2020


The backlash was swift, including from fellow high-profile musicians.

“We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show,” John wrote in a Twitter thread posted Wednesday. “This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.

“Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalised people in our communities,” he added. “A musician’s job is to bring people together.”

“I am surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments. I really don’t recognise this as the person I worked with,” Lipa, who featured DaBaby on her song “Levitating,” wrote in a statement Tuesday.

“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.”

Times intern Ruth Etiesit Samuel contributed to this report.