DaBaby’s ugly comments about people living with HIV are, unfortunately, rearing their heads once more.
Despite meeting with a group of HIV organizations and promising to work with the organizations and donate money to them, it looks like DaBaby has moved on. In fact, several of the orgs say that after the meeting, they never heard from the rapper again.
At the end of July at the Rolling Loud music festival, DaBaby made some harmful, ignorant, and hateful remarks about people living with HIV and gay people. “If you didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS, or any of them deadly STDs that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up,” he said to his fans from onstage. “Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”
The backlash was swift, and DaBaby quickly started losing sponsorships and appearances. That’s when a group of eleven HIV organizations reached out to him, offering to meet and educate him on what living with HIV is really like.
After the meeting, which took place in late August, the organizations released a joint statement saying that they were happy with how DaBaby took the meeting. It seemed like everything was on track or the best possible outcome.
"During our meeting, DaBaby was genuinely engaged, apologized for the inaccurate and hurtful comments he made about people living with HIV, and received our personal stories and the truth about HIV and its impact on Black and LGBTQ communities with deep respect," the leaders and organizations said in a joint statement. "We appreciate that he openly and eagerly participated in this forum of Black people living with HIV, which provided him an opportunity to learn and to receive accurate information."
They ended their statement by saying “we hope DaBaby will use his platform to educate his fans and help end the pandemic.” Unfortunately, that never happened.
“Since then, we have not received any outreach, partnership, or funding from DaBaby,” Pavni Guharoy of the Black AIDS Institute told The Daily Beast. “The onus is now on him, if he chooses to, to convert his misinformation into allyship by supporting the work of the Black AIDS Institute and other people of color-led HIV organizations.”
Several other organizations echoed the sentiment, saying DaBaby has ghosted them since the sit-down. “Though we felt the conversation was extremely powerful a couple months ago, we haven’t heard anything back as an organization since our conversation,” Ian L. Haddock of The Normal Anomaly Initiative added.
Haddock did point out that another rapper, Lil Nas X, has raised money for the organization, when he included The Normal Anomaly and other HIV organizations in his Montero baby registry.