Following his homophobic remarks at Rolling Loud Miami, numerous music festivals have dropped Jonathan “DaBaby” Kirk from their lineups. Lollapalooza, iHeartRadio, Parklife, The Governor’s Ball, Austin City Limits, Day N Vegas and Atlanta’s own Music Midtown are all among these festivals. KS107.5 canceled their Summer Jam altogether, citing “various factors, including DaBaby’s recent comments.”
The Charlotte native quickly rose to fame following his 2019 album “Baby on Baby,” which contained features from established rappers Offset, Rich Homie Quan, Rich the Kid and Stunna 4 Vegas, a signee on DaBaby’s own record label Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment.
“Baby on Baby” debuted at 25 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the US, and “Suge,” the most popular song on the album, reached the Billboard Top 10 a few months later. The album’s success earned DaBaby a feature on the cover of XXL magazine as a part of the Freshman Class of 2019.
DaBaby did not slow down after this album. In 2020, his song “Rockstar” featuring Roddy Rich went viral on TikTok and reached #1 on the Billboard Global 200. “What’s Poppin’,” “Bop,” “For the Night,” “Beat Box,” “Baby” and “Crybaby,” all by or featuring DaBaby have reached the top 15 on the Billboard Global 200 as well.
The recent backlash stems from Mr. Kirk’s controversial words as he addressed his audience in July, 2021. “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two or three weeks, put your cellphone light in the air,” said DaBaby. He followed this up by stating that those who engage in homosexual acts should not put their cellphone light in the air either. These statements, offensive to both the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS community, have led to the “canceling” of DaBaby.
Pop star Dua Lipa took to Instagram to speak out against DaBaby’s hateful words. The two had previously collaborated on the song “Levitating” which spent weeks at the top of the charts, but Dua Lipa now claims that “[she] really [doesn’t] recognize this as the person [she] worked with.” “I am surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments,” she said.
On August 22, DaBaby made his first live appearance since the Rolling Loud scandal. This took place at the Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert in New Jersey, the first festival to refrain from dropping the artist from its lineup. Prior to his performance, DaBaby played a montage in which he apologized for his comments. DaBaby then essentially negated this apology by saying to his crowd that “Other than the people that, you know, was truly offended, I feel like the rest of y’all … being crybabies.”