Vic Mensa is the latest musician to speak out about the Black Lives Matter movement and this fall’s election. In the latest installment of Vevo’s “Why I Vote” series, the 22-year-old Chicago rapper discussed his experiences with the police and his memories of protesting the 2014 killing of teenager Laquan McDonald by Chicago police.
“All my earliest memories with police officers are like, ‘Hey, get your f—ing hands out that hoodie before I punch you in the f—ing face!'” Mensa said. “‘You live with that enough and there’s not really any turning back.” As he explained, “Affecting change in the hood is why I vote.”
Earlier this year, Mensa released his There’s Alot Going On EP, which included a tribute to McDonald named “16 Shots.” “The anger I had made me feel like I had to speak about it,” the rapper told EW. “I’m not bugged by the ‘conscious rap’ label […] I’m coming from a street perspective. I’m not worried about how people might perceive those lyrics because I consider fighting back as an oppressed person to be resistance.”
See the full clip of Mensa below.