Vic Mensa’s Revolutionary New Song “No More Teardrops”
Written by Vocalo Radio on August 10, 2020
Vic Mensa took the virtual Lollapalooza stage to premiere a short film/music video hybrid that acted as not only a live performance, but as a direct social commentary.
Vic Mensa’s Lollapalooza set is a very intentional tool of protest against systemic and racist institutions . The video is a distressed outcry in an unjust world. It’s a call to action, a manifesto and a message of hope all in one.
The video features Mensa’s “16 Shots” and “We Could Be Free,” both with reworked lyrics to appropriately fit in with recent social injustices plaguing Chicago and the country at large. The video also introduced Mensa’s latest single “No More Teardrops,” set to be released as part of Roc Nation’s upcoming social-justice-themed project “Reprise.” The single is now individually available on most streaming platforms.
Mensa is not a stranger to writing politically-conscious rap. A Chicago Southside native, Mensa’s initial inspiration to begin songwriting was his experience with inequality and social injustice in his own neighborhood. Mensa is not afraid to be blatant with his critical rhetoric. “16 Shots” is a direct reference to the number of bullets fired at Laquan McDonald, the 17-year old teenager fatally shot by Chicago Police back in 2015. “Camp America” graphically describes the harsh living conditions of immigrant children at border detention centers. “Police cars on fire in the streets/Tear gas and the dogs on a leash/The scene seem like somethin’ in the sixties” raps Mensa in “No More Teardrops.”
“The disparity between the haves and have-nots was always blatantly obvious to me, and it’s that exact gap that drove me to start writing and pick up a pen,” Vic Mensa explained in an interview with the Guardian in 2019. “I wanted to explain and understand the world around me because it was easy to see it was corrupted.”
Though the lyrics of “16 Shots” and “We Could Be Free” continue to be painfully relevant today, Mensa’s new single “No More Teardrops” takes a moment to directly address recent events and recent social outcries.
“White folks protesting ’cause they can’t leave/Try twenty-five to life, that’s a real quarantine,” Mensa raps in the new single’s first verse, directly referencing the covid outbreak. He continues by addressing the murder of George Floyd: “They just take the mask off when they can’t breathe/But we got officers knees in our esophagus/Face blue ’cause he running out of oxygen.”
The single forms part of a larger project by Jay Z’s Roc Nation label. “Reprise,” a collection of songs curated by Roc Nation, is a forthcoming initiative comprised of multiple artists uniting to let their voices be heard in musical protest. This collection of songs was compiled with hopes to bring awareness to social justice issues. A portion of proceeds will go to funding organizations that support victims of police brutality, hate crimes, and other violations of civil rights.
Mensa’s “No More Teardrops” fits the project’s description perfectly, and though it’s meant to be part of a larger idea releasing sometime in the coming months, the single is now available to stream on all platforms.
Vic Mensa’s Lollapalooza set was destined to cause a stir, and it will continue to reverberate within the social fabric of Chicago, a beautiful example of rap as a tool of revolution.
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Written By Luis Mejía Ahrens
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