Vic Mensa Has Become the Voice for Frustrated Black Youth

The buzzing Chicago emcee encourages the youth to vote as a compliment to his more political music.

We didn’t know how political Vic Mensa could get until the past year, when he more avidly began marching and protesting, even clashing with police—and when he released There’s Alot Going On, a powerful seven-song set that became the space where his politics more fully bloomed.

While Mensa used the EP to explore his sonic and lyrical spectrum, some of the project’s most significant moments were found on cuts like “Danger,” “Shades of Blue” and “16 Shots"—the most intense selection from that grouping, a song that references the death of 17-year-old Chicagoan Laquan McDonald at the hands of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. The record is anthemic and rousing as a protest song, while also exemplifying black and brown people’s anger and frustration.

Mensa believes the way to relieve some of that anger is through political activism, which, for him, is the key to enacting change.

Today (September 27), for National Voter Registration Day, Mensa didn’t just send out a tweet or Instagram post to express the importance of voting. Instead, he took part in the launch of Vevo's "Why I Vote" campaign, giving a compelling outlook on police brutality in his hometown of Chicago.

He uses the interview to further explain his passion for political activism and social justice, which was cultivated by his upbringing on Chicago’s south side, touching on how he developed an interest in voting.

“I do want to have politicians in place that we can have a dialogue with, that has to do with improving our quality of life,” Mensa says. “I was on two sides of things, having really educated parents that were still like deeply rooted in the city. I was always hearing discussions and debates about people running for office. So hearing my parents just focus on that, when I turned 18, I’m like, ‘Now I’m old enough to do this, this is dope. I can go vote.’"

Actions speak louder than words. What you do makes a bigger impact than what you say; your actions show your true intentions. Mensa has stepped up the plate, using his platform to show the value of protesting, voting, and standing up for what you believe in.

I believe in Vic Mensa.