In Defense of DaBaby
I'm going to be brutally honest with you, the rap of DaBaby is way, way off my radar. But I am a fan of the Lollapalooza Music Festival, so I decided to check out what the tempest was around the rapper.
I watched his video, Suge (Yea, Yea) and then re-watched it while reading along with the lyrics. Catchy song, but nothing out of the ordinary for a rap hit.
So I was a little confused as to why he was kicked out as Sunday's Lollapalooza's headlining slot. Doing more research, Lollapalooza released this statement:
"Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight."
Okay, that told me nothing. Went to Consequence of Sound:
"DaBaby has been roundly criticized for remarks he made last weekend at Miami’s Rolling Loud Festival, in which he insulted gay people, slandered women, and demonized those suffering from HIV and AIDS."
Alright. So DaBaby comes from the Easy E tree of Free Speech. Still not seeing the problem.
More from Consequence of Sound:
"Rather than apologize, the 29-year-old rapper has only doubled down in his stance, releasing a tone-deaf statement in which he blamed “brands, networks, or artists that like to profit off of black rappers influence on the culture” for overreacting to his comments."
Good for DaBaby. I went to his twitter and read his response:
“My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you."
That's a very wise statement that all Americans can get behind, right? Apparently not. Listen, Lollapalooza has been the home of controversial rappers since its founding. Ice Cube and Body Count were on two of the first Lollapalooza stages and have said way, way worse, in song.
What's the difference on Lollapalooza's 30th Anniversary? 30 years ago, mostly the Right came after rappers and failed. This year the Woke Mob came after DaBaby and got him.
Free Speech defenders should be rallying around DaBaby like Free Speech defenders rallied around Ice T. Instead, when I went to Facebook, expecting a split in the free speech argument, I ran into the buzzsaw. At least 80% of the sentiment was defending Lollapalooza's decision to ban DaBaby. Most popular response on Facebook?
”You (DaBaby) may have free speech, but you're not above the CONSEQUENCES of speech."
From a Free Speech Perspective in America, that is a chilling statement.
"Fred Hunt, you glossed over a lot of stuff in your article. DaBaby even insulted Madonna!"
Yes, I know. If you want the whole sordid DaBaby Drama, the Daily Mail does a great job of covering it: DaBaby is taken off Lollapalooza Lineup....
If you want to see the future of how free speech gets stripped away, DaBaby just showed you.
The next step is the money aspect of it. If Lollapalooza bowed to the Mob, but still pays DaBaby, I believe this specific fight will end. If Lollapalooza withholds payment from DaBaby, citing some sort of morals clause, DaBaby will win in a court of law.