The recent cancellation of DaBaby for his controversial Rolling Loud comments is sparking new conversations about music festivals.
Mere weeks after the rapper was slandered for saying what many saw as insensitive comments about the LGBTQ community as well as spreading misinformation about STDs, people are wondering if the several festivals that have dropped DaBaby for their lineups are going too far.
Former “Everyday Struggle” host DJ Akademiks called out festivals in an Aug. 2 tweet for being hypocritical. He said, “Its just weird how Festivals are putting out these elaborate statements about how much they care about humanity and because of that can’t have da baby on their show for what he said. yet 90% of the artists they book.. music is about drugs and murder.. n its totally fine to them.”
In another tweet, Akademiks suggested that companies should “choose whether they are prioritizing the art or morality” and said, “Hip hop is a genre filled with imperfect individuals telling stories. Why even fw it if u want saints.”
But former TMZ employee and personality Van Lathan, who, like DJ Akademiks, often speaks on the happenings of hip-hop culture, offered another perspective on the situation the next day on Instagram. He prefaced his statement by calling it the “hard truth” and said, “The festival doesn’t have a soul, it’s a corporate entity. That means it’s cool with whatever the consumer is cool with.”
“If we’re all singing along to songs about misogyny, murder, and malice, then they figure it’s cool to put it on stage,” he continued. Turning his attention to what’s currently happening with DaBaby being dropped from festivals, he said, “But when a community has standards about how they’ll be spoken to or about, like the LGBTQ+ community obviously does, then the festival or corporate entity listens.”
He went on to explain that festivals and entities will continue to side with the majority of their consumers because doing otherwise can make them subject to a “boycott” or a decrease in revenue or make it more difficult to book future artists. He said, “If we wanted festivals to not book artists that profited in Black Death we’d have to set a community standard on what we accept.” He added, “We won’t because by and large we like and understand the music. They will do what we do.”
Lathan closed out his message by encouraging his followers to “stop backflipping to excuse bad behavior” because “it stunts growth.” In his caption, he added, “If you don’t like violent rap or trap then stop listening to it. But don’t conflate issues.”
DaBaby has since put out two apologies, and although many approved of the second one over the first, others believed it was a little too late and was insincere.