Juneteenth turned out to be one of the more active days for the music industry since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The holiday was packed with new releases for fans to enjoy throughout the day, concluding that night with a Verzuz battle between John Legend and Alicia Keys. DaBaby contributed to the day by hosting a “Black Lives BEEN Mattered” panel in his hometown of Charlotte, where he spoke about police reform and systemic racism.
“[This is] an opportunity to give people whose voices aren’t heard, whose voices don’t reach a million people, the opportunity to be heard,” DaBaby said before describing his own experiences with local police officers. This included his highly-publicized late-2019 arrest, in which he received a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.
“I have had my own experiences with the police. It’s time to have a serious conversation about police reform and systemic racism in our city. Black lives been mattered and always will matter,” he said. “Why have 20 cops tried to find someone who is trying to do their job when you have real bad things going on?”
After being urged to use his platform to speak to the younger generation, DaBaby said, “I need to be educated on voting to speak for these kinds of people,” he said, before making closing statements… I want to end this by extending an offer to try to put something together routinely like this. Where we can bring blank notebook paper and pens and clipboards and try to move forward.”
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston, and former Carolina Panther Thomas Davis also joined DaBaby for the open discussion.