Electro-pop singer Halsey labeled Migos rapper Quavo as "misunderstood" in a new interview, referring to the Atlanta hip-hop trio's controversial comments on homosexuality in a February Rolling Stone feature. "I don't think he's inherently homophobic," she told The Guardian of Quavo, who appears on "Lie," a track from her recently issued second LP, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. "Just because I choose to be a socially conscious artist, and I'm pretty good at it, that doesn't mean every artist is going to be equipped to be politically correct."
Migos drew widespread criticism for their shocked reaction to learning that fellow Atlanta MC Makonnen came out as gay. "They supported him?" Quavo asked of the fan response, to which group members Offset and Takeoff respectively added, "That's because the world is fucked up" and "This world is not right."
Quavo also said that Makonnen undermined his credibility since "he first came out talking about trapping and selling Molly, doing all that." However, he attempted to course-correct by adding, "We ain't saying it's nothing wrong with the gays."
In an apology issued days after their condemned quotes circulated the Internet, Migos called themselves Makonnen fans and said they "wish he didn't feel he ever had to hide himself."
"We feel the world is fucked up that people feel like they have to hide and we're asked to comment on someone's sexuality," they continued. "We have no problem with anyone's sexual preference. We love all people, gay or straight and we apologize if we offended anyone."
Halsey told The Guardian she feels Quavo "is in a tough place of trying to explain what he means," adding, "I agree his apology was bullshit, but I can't police everybody." After the interviewer noted that "she surely can police everybody" within the context of her own album, she responded, "Yes, I can. And there's a lot of people I wouldn't put on my record."
Early Friday morning, after "#HalseyIsOverParty" became a trending Twitter topic, the singer issued a lengthy tweet statement, doubling down on her criticism of Quavo's apology – and apologizing herself for her own "misjudgment."
"Honestly? I didn't know that Quavo had made homophobic comments when I collaborated him," she wrote. "We've never spoken a word to each other and [plus] I have no intention of pursuing a friendship there, unless he wants to make a legitimate apology. I work tirelessly to represent & support marginalized communities I love & am a part of. I'm sorry if my actions have ever seemed otherwise."
"I only meant to say that people can struggle being socially conscious if they don't have the information/vocabulary," she continued. "So we must educate them. And I'm proud to watch the young people around me work hard to educate themselves and others to stay woke every day ... I AM queer & I TRY to be understanding & want people to be educated ... Again, I am truly sorry for my misjudgment and I am happy to have listeners who hold me accountable."