T.I. has spoken out in defense of DaBaby after the ‘Suge’ rapper found himself embroiled in controversy over an explosive homophobic rant during his performance at Rolling Loud Festival in Miami last weekend.

DaBaby took to the Rolling Loud stage on the third and final day of the festival. His performance was mired in controversy after he brought out maligned artist Tory Lanez to perform their collaborative track ‘SKAT.’

DaBaby performed right after Megan Thee Stallion, who accused Tony Lanez of shooting her in the foot last year. Lanez pleaded not guilty to two felony charges that November.

Elsewhere during the performance, DaBaby — apparently inspired to drum up as much backlash as possible — unleashed a bizarre, homophobic rant.

Love Hip Hop?

Get the latest Hip Hop news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

“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,” he said. “Ladies, if your p—y smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d— in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”

Widespread backlash ensued, with fans condemning the rapper for spreading damaging information about HIV and AIDS online.

T.I. came to the defense of DaBaby during an IGTV video shared earlier today. The video saw T.I. compare DaBaby’s Rolling Loud speech to Lil Nas X’s new ‘Industry Baby’ video — arguing that DaBaby has a right to express his opinion.

“If you gonna have the Lil Nas X video and him living his truth, you gonna damn sure have people like DaBaby who gonna speak their truth,” he said. “Ain’t nothing wrong with none of it, it ain’t got to be no hate — it’s all honesty. Everybody living in their truth.”

“Social media’s full of confusion,” T.I. continued. “Words are often misconstrued. And to be honest with you, if homosexuals have more rights than heterosexual people just say that. Let’s let that be the law, is that the law? I just feel like, I respect gays, especially the ones who have the courage and bravery to step out and live in their truth.”

Instinctually, I feel like T.I. speaks from a place of (very confused) goodwill. He went on to say that he has “a lot of respect” for “people like Lil Nas X, and Frank Ocean.” Whilst suggesting that people believe he is homophobic because he’s “proud to be a heterosexual.”

“Just because I am proud of what I am, don’t mean I hate what you are,” he said. “Ain’t no hate in that, bruh. If I’m proud to be Black that don’t make me hate you ‘cause you’re white.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31)Post

For more on this topic, follow our Hip Hop Observer.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine