Aretha Franklin

'Hand in Hand' Telethon: Vic Mensa Wants Climate Change Deniers Removed From Gov't

The recent devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have dominated the news, bringing the entertainment community together for Tuesday night's (Sep 12) Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief Telethon. But for Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, who took calls for the event, there's been one headline missing: climate change.

"I haven't heard enough in this entire storm fiasco really holding people to a standard of honesty," Mensa told Billboard backstage at the hurricane relief benefit's New York outpost. "You can't come out and say we pray for Houston, we support Houston, and then deny climate change."

Mensa said that his views on climate change are "ironclad," adding, "it's 100 percent a reality." But what irks the Chicago rapper most is what he sees as a lack of effort on part of the government to take action.

"We need to take preventative measures, and we need to remove anyone in our government that doesn't think we do," the 24-year-old explained.

Mensa isn't the only artist who thinks the back-to-back blows of two hurricanes across the Atlantic should call attention to climate change. During his opening performance for the Hand in Hand broadcast, Stevie Wonder went as far as to claim climate change deniers must be "blind or unintelligent."

The one-hour Hand in Hand television special aired live from studios in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville Tuesday night, organized by famed talent manager Scooter Braun and rapper Bun B.