One of the shittiest things about rap music lately has been the genre’s willingness to embrace artists who have been accused or convicted of abusing women. Accused abusers like Kodak Black, and convicted ones like 6ix9ine, have had huge hits, and A-list artists have been happy to collaborate with them. And the late XXXTentacion presents an especially confounding case. The horrific accusations against XXXTentacion may have hindered his career while he was alive, but since his murder, stars like Kanye West and Lil Wayne have either teased or released collaborations with him. (When he was alive, XXXTentacion also had plenty of prominent supporters, including Kendrick Lamar.)
One person who is taking a public stand against all of this is the Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, as Pitchfork reports. The BET Hip-Hop Awards haven’t aired yet, but they were taped over the weekend. Mensa was one of the rappers who participated in the annual Ciphers, and XXXTentacion collaborator DJ Scheme tweeted that Mensa, in his verse, mentioned XXXTentacion in conjunction with the line “your favorite rapper is an abuser.”
yo bro how u gone say
“Your favorite rapper is an abuser” and then follow it with a line saying “some shit X some shit so I won’t live long” u can deny it but everyone who was there heard that shit
— BAD VIBES (@DJSCHEME_) October 7, 2018
On Instagram last night, Mensa addressed Scheme’s tweet, writing, “Domestic & sexual abuse are not excusable because you have talent or you are troubled.” He also offered condolences to XXXTentacion’s mother Cleopatra Bernard, saying that he didn’t realize she would be in the audience when his pre-taped verse aired. In the accompanying video, Mensa, who has lately been feuding with 6ix9ine, said, “I vehemently reject the trend in hip-hop of championing abusers, and I will not hold my tongue about it. I don’t give a fuck about getting attention. I care about bringing awareness and holding people accountable for their actions.”
The BET Hip-Hop Awards will air 10/16.