Vic Mensa returns with a new record called "Empathy."
The Chicago rapper shared the track Wednesday afternoon, less than a day after fans saw his headline-grabbing freestyle at the BET Hip Hop Awards. Mensa's cypher appearance was widely criticized, as he appeared to reference the late rapper XXXTentacion's abuse allegations: "Only time you bear arms is in a wife beater, loser/Your favorite rapper's a domestic abuser," he rapped during the awards show. "[...] I don't respect (bleep) posthumously."
Of course, many fans and hip-hop figures called the lyrics insensitive, especially since X's mother Cleopatra Bernard was in the Hip Hop Awards audience. No Jumper host Adam22 blasted Mensa for the purported diss: "I can't believe I just gotta say it one more time. Vic Mensa, what the fuck is wrong with you for insulting our boy in front of his beautiful mother?," he wrote on Instagram. "That is is the craziest shit ever. You're never gonna win an award. Your music will never mean anything to anybody on the level that X's did. You can never even get to one percent of what he accomplished in his life."
But despite the backlash, Mensa insisted he would never stop "holding people accountable for their actions."
Mensa promoted "Empathy" on social media, stating it was "in response to all the controversy."
In the song, Mensa also appears to reflect on his past relationships and his admitted slip-ups: "Got a call from my ex, she forgive but she can't forget," he raps. "Sometimes I disrespect."
Mensa produced "Empathy" alongside Johan and Stefan Ponce. You can check out the song in the visual above.