Written by Dorica Santos
I first came across Vic Mensa back in 2010 when he was a part of an extremely talented Indie band, Kids These Days. Yes, Vic Mensa was in an Indie band. So it frustrates me when people say he isn’t talented, without knowing his full musical journey. The Manuscript is Vic’s 3rd solo EP after Straight Up (2010) and Innanetape (2013). It includes tracks featuring Mr Hudson and Pusha T, as well as tracks produced by Pharrell Williams and Mike Dean. The four-track EP is half of a two-part project and clearly showcases Vic’s creativity and personal growth; which he doesn’t fear unlike some of his day one fans, including myself.
Almost There is a way Vic’s introducing himself to new and old listeners, letting them know what he is about and how he has change massively but, still hasn’t forgotten his roots. In the track, Vic doesn’t hold back rapping, “This for all my fans that say they want the old Vic. I’ve grown too much to ever be the old Vic/I’m new and improved call me Vic 2.0, still making two points every time I move an O!” It takes a level of confidence for any artist to begin an EP like this, but then again it perfectly sets the tone: Vic is ready to own it.
OMG is arguably the best track on the EP that demonstrates Vic’s impressive lyrical abilities. Despite there being no story on OMG, Vic, Pusha T and Pharrell discuss topics that include issues on race, social class and politics; “This that crack music, n***a, you can blame Reagan.” With the combination of a simple soon-to-be classic backing and effortless rhyme schemes, OMG is a track that will undoubtedly be a regular track played through your speakers.
Using a catchy and pop-influenced melody, Vic is able to complete a track that like OMG, could easily be played at parties and night clubs. Nonetheless, Vic’s lyrics narrate the harsh reality of drugs; “I got a problem nobodys.” Sure, he may living a like “rockstar,” but like most fame, it comes with consequences.
In The Manuscript’s final song, Rage, Vic displays a more aggressive yet passionate and rockstar-like side of himself. He lets out his pain through emotional rapping and singing, describing to listeners about the turbulences in his life and the problems he is has to pushed through. He gives listeners motivation to not give and keep going; “Before the final flight, I want you to rage.”
Without a doubt Vic Mensa has developed as an artist and an individual with the support of others, including his fans and Roc Nation artists like, Kanye West, J Cole and Beyoncé. Vic is an artist who is brave enough to explore his talents and take risks, which is very rare. Admittedly, I do not like change and it took me a while to accept that the Vic Mensa from Kids These Days is no more, but instead he is someone who has matured and advanced into someone who has so much to give. The Manuscript will prove to people that Vic Mensa should not be taken for granted and is he destined to do great things.
Check out “Almost There” below
Credit: Unstoppable Beats