vic mensa shares a powerful essay in response to the u.s. election
‘We can't just fight against injustice. We gotta fight for justice.’
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In the wake of one of the most divisive presidential elections in United States history, one of 2016's most politically vocal hip-hop artists, Vic Mensa, has penned an essay for Billboard in an effort to make sense of the outcome. It's a result, he argues, that "had to happen" to bring to light critical issues that are currently being "pacified" by Democratic leaders. "We've been getting killed in the streets by police like dogs with a black president in the White House and there's no accountability for those white officers," he writes, "we already had to motherfucking watch our back. This was not a safe place for us to begin with."
Mensa sums up his election night as a "woozy" experience. He unpacks the racial motivations of rural Trump supporters and gives a major shoutout to Bernie Sanders. "Some people in these small towns with heroin epidemics and lack of employment — they're hurt — and the easiest way to approach that is to blame somebody of a different race; to blame 'the others,'" he says, "it's a lot more difficult to identify the real structural issues that have us disenfranchised all across this nation."
Following the release of his EP There's A Lot Going On — in which Mensa dealt with issues ranging from lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan to the tragic shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago cop — the 23-year-old rapper has continued to use his platform as a proponent for change. In his Billboard essay, he affirms his resilience in the face of the Trump administration. "I've been having conversations with people from a movement right now about creating something a lot bigger than a Black Lives Matter campaign — something very inclusive," he writes, "for us to make real change, we're gonna need everyone and people of all different walks of life to recognize the part that they play and how these powers at hand affect them too."
Mensa joins the ranks of countless members of the hip-hop community in renouncing Trump; A Tribe Called Quest chose to close their brand-new record with a track called "The Donald," and Nicki Minaj recently dropped a scathing remix of Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" calling out the President-elect. While we eagerly await Mensa's new tracks — in the essay, he alludes to working with The-Dream in Atlanta during election night — read his powerful essay in full here.
Text Salvatore Maicki