I’ve been a fan of Vic Mensa since ‘Orange Soda’, yeah I know that was only a few years ago, but since then I’ve worked with him, witnessed him go through some changes, and like he said ‘A lot of things have happened’ since then.
I thought I knew Vic, but after this interview and freestyle I realised that I didn’t. He is a very different person to the Vic Mensa I was rolling with in 2013/14. Is it because he’s grown up? fixed up? a reaction to the recent civil rights violations in the US? Nah, I think this was always who he always was, but he has woken up.
“I’m not gonna rest until we’re free meaning I’m likely never gonna rest in this lifetime”
Vic is a rebel with no pause, a voice of the voiceless fuelled by flagrant clarity. Whilst the meaning of ‘Black Lives Matter’ is scrutinised, debated, and shrouded with mis-information by the media, Vic is very clear about what it means to him, “Literally in my mind, Black Lives Matter is not even an organisation that’s not even how I look at, I don’t even look at it as a group or even just as a movement, I look at it as an emphatic true statement – Black Lives Matter.”
The world is in a very crazy place at the moment, since the mid-nineties it felt like things were getting better until recent events across our planet have very quickly shown that nothing has changed. We shouldn’t need a civil rights movement given how far we have ‘advanced’ as human beings. We shouldn’t be divided by colour or religion in 2016, but we are. Clearly we still have a long way to go as human beings before we get it right. “What we’re trying to strive for is just an understanding between people”, Vic reflects in reference to the recent murders or black people by various US police officers. “So having a lot of support from people of all colours, all over the world is important and necessary because the point that we’re trying to make is that we all bleed the same blood. So it’s all of our responsibility to stop that blood from bleeding.”
The interview with Vic is significant for a lot of reasons and the freestyle is hard! Vic comes with the London flow over Pusha T’s ‘Numbers On The Board’ that documents where he is at and his relationship with the UK. Shoreditch Vic spits fire about the recent events in the US, hanging out in South London and East London, rolling with Boy Better Know to the Brits, and more.
A friend told me recently that ‘the need for knowledge of self is more important than ever’ and although it sounds like a flashback to a mid-nineties hip-hop record he couldn’t have been more accurate. Vic is the epitome of that sentiment, and its going to be interesting to see how his path as an artist develops. In reference to the chaos that is currently consuming the US I asked Vic if it will ever change? part of his answer left me speechless, “I’m not gonna rest until we’re free meaning I’m likely never gonna rest in this lifetime.” I found it hard to absorb.
As a fan it is enthusing to hear a vivid statement from one of my favourite artists that echoes the sentiments of artists such as Dead Prez and 2Pac. It’s good to see Vic evolving as a person and an artist, but his words are a chilling reminder that the audacity of hope has been and gone, that a vast distance has to be traveled before some kind of equality or justice can be attained for everybody.
Check out the full interview with Vic Mensa below.