Rapper DaBaby releases video addressing AIDS comments controversy

American rapper DaBaby has doubled down on the recent controversy over his comments about HIV, releasing a new video which sees him hold a sign reading “AIDS” before shooting two men standing beside him.

The clip is for his latest track Giving What It’s Supposed To Give and it sees the musician appearing in court, being arrested by police and receiving oral sex from a woman. It also features a scene where two men appear to be annoying the singer, he then holds up a sign saying “AIDS” before shooting both men.

DaBaby has faced a wave of criticism since he made comments about AIDS during a concert last weekend.  During the week online fashion retailer BooHoo, who he had a fashion deal with, and former collaborator Dua Lipa said she was surprised and horrified by his comments.

Elton John, who has raised millions of dollars for HIV research through his charitable foundation said the comments DaBaby had made were shocking.

“We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show.”

“This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic,” Elton John tweeted before sharing some facts about the realities of living with HIV.

“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. A musician’s job is to bring people together.”

Madonna, another artist who was a pioneer is raising awareness about HIV, also said DaBaby needed to learn the facts.

If you’re going to make hateful remarks to the LGBTQ+ community about HIV/AIDS then know your facts.”

“After decades of hard won scientific research— there are now life saving medicines available to children born with HIV, to people who contract HIV through blood transfusions, dirty needles or exchange of bodily fluids,” she wrote.

“These new ARV’s can keep a person with AIDS alive for the rest of their lives!!! AID’s is not transmitted by standing next to someone in a crowd.” the singer said.

Eventually DaBaby responded to the criticism offering an apology and denying he was being homophobic.

“Anybody who done ever been effected [sic] 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” the rapper posted to his Twitter account, adding a message to the LGBTIQ+ communities “But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.”

DaBaby then went on to say people had started a “million man march” in response to his comments – and he looked forward to people showing the same level of outrage the next time a black person is killed by a police officer.

Black AIDS Institute says comments cause stigma

The Black AIDS Institute, which is based in the USA,  said the incident and the public reaction prove there is much work to be done, and it must be done in the whole of Black communities.

The organisation released a detailed statement offering advice and links to resources.

When they go low, we go high: For 22 years, we have represented Black Americans who are most impacted by HIV. We are intentional about turning comments that stem from homophobia, transphobia, and ignorance about HIV into opportunities to uplift our people and reinforce the value of our work.

HIV impacts Black and LGBTQ communities the most: Of all Americans living with HIV today, Black LGBTQ communities are disproportionately impacted. This is not because of individual behaviors, but because of how HIV thrives on inhumanity, hatred, and exclusion. While mainstream media does not regularly focus on HIV anymore, it remains a crisis in Black communities.

HIV is not a death sentence: HIV science has made possible: an HIV test in the comfort of your own home, a daily pill to prevent HIV, and routine HIV treatment that keeps you healthy and stops the virus from passing on. People are thriving while living with HIV.

Stigma harms us more than HIV does: Stigmatizing this health condition, which is no different from many other chronic diseases, holds people back from accessing life-saving HIV services. It also deters the progress made toward uplifting the lives of people who are Black, LGBTQ, and/or living with HIV. All Black Lives Matter

Walking the talk: For 22 years, our programs have educated Black communities about HIV, trained Black HIV leaders, and provided safe spaces and stigma reduction programs. We are building and supporting the efforts that will end HIV in Black communities over the next 10 years. It is clear that Black leadership to end HIV is more critical than ever.

OIP Staff

Get the facts about living with HIV at the WA AIDS Council

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