Rapper Vic Mensa is clapping back against critics after making alleged comments regarding XXXTentacion’s dark domestic violence accusations during Sunday’s taping of the 2018 BET Hip-Hop Awards.
Although the show won’t air until October 16, the moment was summarized in a tweet from DJ Scheme who called Mensa out on social media. The moment seems to have taken place during a pre-taped cypher featuring Mensa and other rappers.
“Yo bro, how you gone say “Your favorite rapper is an abuser” and then follow it with a line saying some shit x some s— so I won’t live long” u can deny it but everyone who was there heard that s—,” Scheme wrote.
The Chicago lyricist clapped back after Scheme’s tweet gained momentum. Scheme was a frequent XXXTentacion collaborator and a main contributor to South Florida’s rap scene.
A few commentators pointed out what they felt was hypocrisy on Mensa’s part due to a revealing song which detailed a moment where he choked his ex.
But in a video posted to his Instagram account on Monday Mensa says he stands by what he said and rejects anyone who props up rappers with abusive pasts.
“Recently I did a freestyle for the BET Awards cypher, addressing and condemning rappers who unabashedly abuse women and those who stand up for them and even call them ‘legends.’ I stand behind those statements, it was pre-recorded weeks ago and I had no idea a grieving mother would be in the audience to honor her lost son,” he said.
A September 2017 Pitchfork profile detailed a 2016 case where the rapper was charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, face imprisonment and witness tampering. XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, denied the charges and plead not guilty. XXTentcion’s ex-girlfriend and accuser, Geneva Ayala, told harrowing details of mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse she suffered during the couple’s relationship.
XXXTentacion was shot and killed in Deerfield Beach, Florida on June 18, 2018. An outpouring of support by the hip-hop community followed the rapper’s death. In July a Florida judge dropped the charges against him.
“I never intended to disrespect her and I offer my deepest condolences for her loss at the hands of gun violence,” Mensa continued. “However, 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 f— about getting attention, I just want to gain awareness and hold people accountable for their actions.”