Vic Mensa created quite the dust-up last week when it was revealed last week that the Chicago rapper’s pre-recorded cypher slammed XXXTentacion, the late Florida rapper whose career was mired in countless legal problems related to assault and domestic abuse. “Your favorite rapper is an abuser,” Mensa rapped. Mensa later apologized after learning that XXX’s mother was in attendance, but held fast to his desire to “reject the trend in hip-hop of championing abusers.”
(Read: In a Rap Beef, There’s No Such Thing as Crossing the Line)
Now, Mensa has shared a new song, “Empathy”, which directly addresses the situation. “In response to all the controversy,” Mensa wrote on Twitter when sharing the song. In it, Mensa owns up to his failings and lamented the ways in which they conflict with his message. “I say what’s right, but they don’t hear me ’cause of past wrongs,” he rhymes, appearing to reference the time he choked a girlfriend during a fight, an incident several of his critics have brought up in the past week. “Got a call from my ex, she forgive but she can’t forget,” he adds.
The track, which hops back and forth between his own past and his current “good intentions,” very much finds Mensa in the midst of sorting through his feelings on the issue. “As a man we don’t understand the damages we’ve sown,” he rhymes, implicating himself as well as masculine culture in general.
“Workin’ on my empathy,” goes the song’s refrain. We could all stand to do the same.
Hear it below.