XXXTentacion, real name Jahseh Onfroy, was shot dead as he left a Miami motorcycle dealership in June. Officials claim that his car was being locked by another vehicle when two masked gunmen approached his car, before shooting him and fleeing with a Louis Vuitton bag filled with $50,000.
However, the rapper had a history of domestic abuse charges – something which Mensa took aim at in a freestyle at the BET Awards. Now, he’s taken to Twitter to argue that while he stands by his comments against domestic assault, he’s sorry for any upset caused to Onfroy’s mother who was in attendance.
“Recently, I did a freestyle for the BET [Hip Hop] Awards cypher addressing and condemning rappers who unabashedly abuse women and those who stand up for them and even call them legends,” said Mensa on Instagram. “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 honour her lost son.
“I never intended to disrespect her, and I offer my deepest condolences for her loss at the hands of gun violence.”
He 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 fuck about getting attention. I care about bringing awareness and holding people accountable for their actions.
In the Instagram caption, he added, “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.”
Back in May, Spotify rolled out a policy to promote “openness, diversity, tolerance and respect” stating that “when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator”.
As a result, the policy saw Spotify removing R Kelly’s music from their operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations, seeking to “not actively promote it”. XXXTentacion‘s music was also pulled from Spotify’s playlist.
Cunningham, who served as co-executive producer on Onfroy’s second album ‘?’, said: “We basically started making this next album right after ‘?’ came out. The songs and the ideas and the vision of it all was done or very close to being done.”
He added that most of the work left to do on the record was just “getting it mixed or mastered or a certain thing added.”
“The whole idea, the concept, the songs, [all that] was done,” he said.