When protests ensued over the police killing of George Floyd, DaBaby released a “Black Lives Matter” remix of his chart-topping single, “Rockstar ” with Roddy Ricch.
For a blazing performance tonight, the rapper detailed his own encounters with police officers at the 2020 BET Awards.
DaBaby’s set opened in a close-up shot of him being held face-down on a street. While delivering some bars, the camera pans into a wide shot to show the North Carolina rapper handcuffed lying on the ground while an officer pins him down with a knee pressed to his neck, a direct reference to the tragic killing of George Floyd.
The shot then transitions to DaBaby in front of burning police cars and masked protesters as he launches into “Rockstar.” From atop a police car, Roddy takes over for his verse interspersed with shots of protestors defiantly marching through imaginary streets with their fists and Black Lives Matter signs raised.
“But they ain’t even want no smoke / If I had to choose it, murder what she wrote,” Roddy raps in one particular evocative visage of unarmed protestors facing off against a line of police officers in riot gear.
DaBaby comes back to close out the set before transitioning to a powerful message from a young child dedicated to those who’ve lost a loved one to police brutality.
“We are Black people and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. We shouldn’t have to protest because y’all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to. It’s a shame our fathers and mothers are killed and we can’t even see them anymore,” the child tearfully points out while on-screen a young girl holds a sign that reads “more love.”