For Vic Mensa, taking a public stance as an ally for LGBTQ rights was an imperative after a loved one revealed to him that they identified as queer. Following the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Mensa released "Free Love," featuring Le1f, Halsey, Lil B and Malik Yusef. As a young black man from the South Side of Chicago, Mensa didn't always imagine that he'd be talking about LGBTQ-specific issues, which were often considered taboo in his own community. Making the song was a chance for him to grow through discomfort and to encourage boundless love.
Today, Mensa stopped by The FADER office and talked about how he navigated the pushback he got from his friends, why he thinks more rappers aren't coming out as allies, and how he plans to continue his advocacy.
You can download his There's Alot Going On EP for free by signing up for his Respect My Vote campaign.