As with every year, the 2018 BET Hip-Hop Awards boasted a number of fierce, and sometimes controversial, cyphers. Chicago was proudly represented on tonight’s broadcast, with freestyles coming from homegrown talent like Vic Mensa, Taylor Bennett, and G Herbo.

As we previously noted, Mensa’s cypher infamously included a diss against 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 was quoted as saying. To make matters worse, his freestyle was performed while XXX’s mother was in attendance.

(Read: In a Rap Beef, There’s No Such Thing as Crossing the Line)

Following the backlash, Mensa apologized in an Instagram video — however, not so much for what he said, but the fact that he did so in front of XXX’s family. “I vehemently reject the trend in hip-hop of championing abusers, and I will not hold my tongue about it… Protect women,” stated Mensa. “With that said I was not aware his mother would be in attendance & I offer her my deepest condolences.”

Mensa’s head-turning cypher also ended up drawing attention to his own history with domestic violence. In the past, the Chicago rapper has admitted to choking his own girlfriend during a fight.

Watch the full cypher below.





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