CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-based rapper DaBaby addressed the media on Wednesday to preview a concert and free carnival he is hosting this weekend, and he touched on gun violence impacting the city's youth.
DaBaby is scheduled to perform at the QC Sound Stage on Saturday. A free carnival is also planned on the same day in the venue's parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"You can expect an unforgettable experience -- from the children to adults, to the elderly," he said. "We just wanted to do something to get them kids' energy out before the concert later that night."
DaBaby noted the carnival was added to Saturday's schedule to give children something to do now that they're off from school for summer break.
The rapper also addressed teenagers in Charlotte involved with gun violence.
"Kids just need to find more positive ways to better occupy their time. If they do that, everything else will follow suit," DaBaby said. "Whether it's sports or if you like doing music, do whatever you want to do."
In an effort to provide some of these opportunities for the community, DaBaby teased plans he has to fund a facility in Charlotte where children can participate in sports and other activities.
He advised people to educate themselves about gun laws and stated more time needs to be dedicated to making sure school shootings don't occur.
The Grammy-nominated performer grew up in Charlotte and attended Chambers High School. He notes that he still lives in the area and is focused on improving the community along with city leaders.
"Me and the city are turning a new leaf," DaBaby said. "The government officials now understand I bring more to the table than just music."
DaBaby, whose legal name is Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, has been involved in separate gun violence incidents. In 2018, he shot and killed a man at a Walmart in Huntersville in what he said was self-defense. Felony charges were dropped in the case.
In April, a man was shot while trespassing at DaBaby's home in Iredell County. Police have not confirmed who shot the man and no charges were filed.
DaBaby has released three albums in his music career, all reaching platinum-selling status.