Former rapper and podcaster Joe Budden is trending on social media for coming out as bisexual, but things might not be quite as they seem.
“I’m bisexual,” he technically said on today’s episode of his podcast. “How do I spread this news? How do I spread the word? Yo, listen, I like guys and girls. Spread the word. I’m down.”
Out of context, it sounds like Budden is coming out. When you listen to the entire clip, the 41-year-old’s comments are a part of a much uglier conversation.
In context, Budden and his co-hosts are discussing the DaBaby debacle. Earlier this summer on stage at Rolling Loud Miami, the rapper went on stage and let loose a flurry of homophobic comments.
“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 to the crowd between songs. “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d*ck in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.” Another person on stage then adds, “Let’s be real about this shit, some of y’all n****s suspect as a motherf*cker.”
After first, DaBaby doubled down on the comments. He went on Instagram live and said his words were meant as “a call to action” and that his gay fans “don’t got f*cking AIDS” because they aren’t “nasty” or “junkies.” He even released a self-directed music video where he held up a sign that reads “AIDS” for… whatever reason.
Celebrities like Elton John and Madonna began to call him out for homophobia and stigmatizing AIDS. After his slew of headlining festival performances were promptly canceled and Dua Lipa stopped promoting their remix of “Levitating”, he eventually apologized.
“I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made. Again, I apologize for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I know education on this is important. Love to all. God bless.”
The rapper has laid relatively low until this past Sunday, where 50 Cent surprised his fans with a DaBaby set in the middle of his own at Rolling Loud New York.
After the performance, reports circulated around Hip-Hop blogs that the “CEO of the LGBTQ+ community” had forgiven DaBaby and approved the performance which is, as many people pointed out on the internet, ridiculous. The community is not a single entity, does not have a CEO, and its opinions aren’t monolithic, but blogs ran with the report anyway even though it was promptly debunked by the person TMZ originally quoted.
So back to Budden, who discussed the drama on his podcast. In the conversation, Budden and his cohorts actually compare the LGBTQ+ community to the mafia and say the community is extorting DaBaby for apologies and money to allow him to perform on stage again. This is the context in which Budden “came out”, seemingly as a preventative tactic to keep the gays off his back.
So is it true? We have no clue. But if Budden is a member of the community, he’s got a lot of self-reflection and education to do. If not, he has even more to work on.
As one member of the LGBTQ+ community who only speaks for himself, all I want is basic respect. If I attend a concert of a musician I like and they launch into an anti-gay tirade on stage, I certainly have enough self-respect to never listen to them again. Every single person gets to sit with DaBaby’s actions and decide how they want to move forward, some forgive him and some don’t, but the queer people who would rather not deal with him are not the real bullies because they no longer want to engage. DaBaby was the one who spewed ugliness into the world and he’s the only one responsible for the mess.
Budden is playing into the drama on Twitter. “Ahhhhhhh, i see the word got out!! Continue to spread the word pls.”
Fans and celebrities are reacting to the news as if it’s true as well. Even Azealia Banks chimed in. Here are some reactions below: