The SAVEMONEY marathon continues this week, and this time it's Vic Mensa's turn to drop new music. This week he released a seven track EP, entitled There's A Lot Going On, a precursor to his forthcoming Roc Nation full length debut Traffic.
Since the break up of Kids These Days and his debut solo project, INNANETAPE, Vic's music has been trending towards the exploration of the crossroads between electronic dance music and hip-hop. He has been loud and brash, like on "U Mad," or suavely reckless, as on "Down On My Luck." However, for There's A Lot Going On, he chooses to forgo all of the shiny EDM influences to preach about the realities of street life and modern black America.
While police violence and other forms of oppression that regularly touches minorities lives have become a common, albeit unfortunate necessity, topic in recent hip-hop, Vic throws away his entire well earned fame status to adequately pursue this discourse. There are only small portions of There's A Lot Going On that directly speak to his current state of mind or his braggadocio, but those are usually moments of self-degrading introspection. "Liquor Locker" find Vic drunk dialing a fling at two in the morning, in a sad pathetic tale that is all too common in today's dating game.
"Dynasty" and "16 Shots" are an amazing introduction. Right from the beginning, Vic makes it known that this is not just a simple "we shall overcome" conscious rap fest, but a near militant, fed up, and ready to go out swinging protest. When the beat drops on "Dynasty," it will be impossible for you not to move. "16 Shots" is a song dedicated to Laquan McDonald, a teenager who was shot down 16 times by police officers in 2014. The news recordings towards the end is chill inducing and the anger felt in the chorus will resonate with listeners well after they press stop.
"Shades of Blue" is a fitting song about the negativity and harshness of the world and especially the South Side, which is also the birthplace of the wildly influential Chicago Blues. There's A Lot Going On's title track closes out the EP, with two epic word vomit verses. Vic just lets loose about everything that has happened to him in the past, all the bridges he has burned, and all of the people his actions have affected. It is a beautifully dark song that captures a moment where a young artists realizes their potential is greater than personal gain, but also as platform for those who cannot speak.
Vic is here and ready to tell that tale. He is no longer one of the targets at the police gun range, as his cover depicts, but something bigger for the people.You can download There's A Lot Going On here when you pledge to vote or you can stream it on Itunes or Spotify now.