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The Case of DaBaby and Homophobia in Hip Hop



During Dababy’s performance at this years Rolling Loud Festival in Miami he was heard shouting some unprovoked homophobic statements in what appeared to be an attempt to gain crowd engagement. He is far from the first to shout something outrageous into a microphone in order to elicit some sort of reaction from the crowd. Such ridiculous statements can be found all throughout dancehall and in numerous hip hop concerts over the last two decades.

The backlash from this incident was swift and intense. What follows is the usual from the hip hop community when we seem to offend another marginalized group, denial and revulsion over “cancel culture”. TI weighed in with his own homophobic hot take that no one seemed to ask for. Both TI and Dababy went on to release separate statements via their Instagram lives attempting to explain their positions but seemingly doubling down on their initial sentiments. You can check out their statements below:

We have a large samples size of incidents to look at in this culture where words have brought about death, indictments, and other forms of violence. There are folks in our culture that haven’t spoken to one another in a better part of two decades behind the words that were spoken some times in a matter of minutes or other brief exchanges. The damage in this instance seems to already have been done as he’s already lost a sponsorship from boohooMAN, and both Dua Lipa, and Elton John have come out to condemn Dababy and his statements.

Needless to say Hip Hop has a lot of work to do when it comes to homophobia. We need to aggressively interrogate homophobia and other forms of oppression that we perpetuate in our art forms. Most importantly we need to interrogate our roles in the suffering we may cause both intentionally and unintentionally in the lives of other marginalized people. We should not have to tell rappers whose job descriptions involve their use of words about the power words can have on peoples lives.

The goal here isn’t to beat up on any individual artist or instances of homophobia in hip hop. It is to create a more equitable and welcoming environment for people who are from all walks of life. This at it’s core is what our culture is about and we should never settle for less.

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