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Vic Mensa releases new track in response to XXXTentacion controversy

By | Published on Friday 19 October 2018


Vic Mensa has released a new track, ‘Empathy’, in response to the controversy surrounding his disparaging of late rapper XXXTentacion at the recent BET Hip Hop Awards.

XXXTentacion was posthumously awarded the Best New Hip Hop Artist prize at the ceremony earlier this month. Prior to that, Mensa performed at the show, rapping: “Only time you bear arms is in a wife-beater, loser/Your favourite rapper’s a domestic abuser”.

He went on to say that he doesn’t “respect” someone “posthumously” – the name of the someone having been censored in the TV broadcast, which aired this week. Although it’s said that he directly referenced XXXTentacion in that remark.

Prior to his death, XXXTentacion faced various accusations of violence against women, and was awaiting trial on charges of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and witness tampering.

The late rapper’s mother was in attendance at the ceremony in order to collect her son’s trophy. In a post on Instagram after the event, Mensa said that he “had no idea a grieving mother would be in the audience to honour her lost son”. But he then added: “However, I vehemently reject the trend in hip hop of championing abusers, and I will not hold my tongue about it”.

He also later shared screengrabs of violent misogynistic messages that had been directed at a female associate and her daughter, saying: “This is the culture that promoting violence against women in music creates. These are messages to the director of my charity in Chicago. These kids are taught that this mentality is OK by their abusive heroes [who] normalise this shit. I call BS!”

In the new track, Mensa acknowledges that his own past is not uncheckered, having written lyrics previously about assaulting an ex-girlfriend. Referencing this again on ‘Empathy’, he says that his former partner told him that she can “forgive but she can’t forget”.

He also opens the track with the lines: “They say you shouldn’t cast stones from a glass home/The whole world want to see me fall but I stand strong”.

Listen to ‘Empathy’ here:

Following XXXTentacion’s posthumous win at the BET Awards, it was speculated that he may also be nominated for the Best New Artist prize at next year’s Grammys. However, according to Hits Daily Double, he has now been ruled ineligible for the prize.