A musician’s job is to be able to bring people together with music and to unite those who would not usually unite using the power of song. After all, music is a universal concept. No matter how different you might be from others, a good song is something that everyone can agree with.
Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the mindset of popular music artist, Dababy, as it was announced that Lollapalooza, an annual four-day music festival held in Grant Park in Chicago, formally canceled Dababy’s scheduled performance as news of Dababy using homophobic speech during the “Rolling Loud” event in Miami.
Dababy had played during the “Rolling Loud” event in Miami where he was heard saying, as a way to hype the crowd up, “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up.”
This is an extremely close-minded and misinformed comment for Dababy to make. While HIV is somewhat of a life-threatening illness that lasts forever, it’s not something that’ll kill you in two to three weeks. When undergoing the proper treatment, people with HIV and AIDS can live normal lives, and thus, deserve to be treated like normal people. It’s comments like the ones that Dababy make that cause such a terrible stigma around the illness, making it sound like some horrible thing that they should be ashamed of when they shouldn’t be.
These comments sparked quite a scandal across social media, as celebrities from all over, including those who have collaborated with Dababy before such as Demi Lovato, Dua Lipa, Elton John, and Madonna, have started to begin the process of condemning him. Elton John, who had come out as gay in 1988, had even went on to say that Dababy’s offensive jokes would “fuel stigma and discrimination”.
“HIV has affected over 70 million people globally,” John had also said, “Men, women, children and the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
Dababy, 29, who was formally known as Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, went on to apologize for the incident in a video that he had posted on Wednesday with a message that had said “Don’t Fight Hate With Hate. My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you.”
Unfortunately, it seems to be a little too late for apologizes as Lollapalooza, a festival that founded its values on “diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love”, has since not taken back Dababy since dropping him from their lineup, and has instead replaced him with two other artists, Young Thug and G Herbo.
While it is unfortunate for Dababy fans that he won’t be performing, it’s very important to understand that we live in a day and age where everyone must be help accountable for their actions, no matter how rich or famous or well-liked. Holding Dababy accountable will keep hateful accidents like this one from happening again, which is the best thing for everyone.