Last night’s annual BET Awards have added more flames to the relentless fire surrounding XXXTentacion and his untimely death this year. The latest controversy comes in the form of Vic Mensa’s contribution to the BET Cypher alongside G Herbo, Taylor Benett and Nick Grant.
Recorded a number of weeks ago but aired at the awards ceremony last night, Mensa openly criticises Hip-Hop culture’s patriarchal tolerance of stars embroiled in domestic abuse and violent crime:
“Only time you bear arms is in a wife beater, loser/Your favourite rapper’s a domestic abuser”.
Though Mensa chose not to namedrop XXXTentacion specifically, it is clear that the deceased Soundcloud rapper was the principal subject of his critique. This follows as, after XXXTentacion’s murder by two armed men on June 18th 2018, he has been posthumously idolised and celebrated as a pioneer of his time.
Mensa, however, chose to speak out against this glorification, reminding his audience of a number of ongoing charges which were being held against the rapper upon his death. Famed for online videos of his streetfights, XXXTentacion was charged with a litany of crimes, including the battery of a pregnant woman.
Mensa’s reference to the charges were viewed as a violation by many, including scene commentator Joe Budden, who felt that it was simply wrong to speak ill of the dead. Worsening matters, XXXTentacion’s grieving mother was said to be present at the awards ceremony when the cypher was shown, bringing her to tears. Mensa this morning took to Instagram to offer condolences to XXXTentacion’s mother and clarify his actions:
“Protect women. Domestic & sexual abuse are not excusable because you have talent or you are troubled. With that said I was not aware his mother would be in attendance & I offer her my deepest condolences.”