The Chicago rapper shares a deep and raw look into his Southside roots with his debut album, The Autobiography.
Throughout his career, Vic has gained attention through his beautiful story telling and use of real life issues in his music. On the 24 year old’s debut album, The Autobiography, Mensa exceeds fan’s expectations. The album takes us through his pain, mistakes and growth. In an interview with NPR, the rapper explained why it took him so long to perfectly curate the album which would in turn be Vic’s personal introduction to the world:
“I’m speaking about loss and love and addiction and depression and all of those things that [at] one time, pulling my brain in so many directions, had me confined, in a cage for some years.”
The project opens up with “Say I Didn’t,” a testimony to anyone who ever doubted him that he will and is proving them wrong. Flowing smoothly off the intro, “Memories on 47th St.” offers a melodic chorus to accompany Mensa’s nostalgia of his life on the Southside. Through sharing his hardships with listeners, Vic’s artistry and success becomes even more impressive after learning raw details about his life.
On the track “Homewrecker,” Vic paints a lively and painful picture of what happened when his ex girlfriend may have caught him with another girl in his home. Mensa raps about their fight, detailing about his house getting torn apart in a rage and what eventually came of it. He makes the listener feel as though they were a part of the scene through the vivid recount. With Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on the outro, “Homewrecker” flushes into “Gorgeous,” an explanation from Vic on why he may have cheated. Syd from The Internet compliments Vic’s voice on the chorus, allowing his melody to sound wildly electric. The upbeat song makes listeners wish to forgive Mensa’s cheating scandal as the two harmonize: “‘Cause girl you’re gorgeous, go ‘head I feel gorgeous in your hands.”
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY 7.28.17 It’s such an honor to be giving you all my debut album, The Autobiography. This is my blood sweat & tears, i’m so infinitely grateful to everyone that’s been here with me for the ride. A lot of you were down with me when I was going through some of the hardest parts of my life, and I wrote an album about them, my debut album. I got so much love for the people that support me and I really did this album for y’all. Based on a true story.
“Heaven On Earth” is the most eye-opening and earth-shattering track on the album. Though he first released the song a year ago at Lollapalooza, “Heaven On Earth” fits perfectly into the album as it humbles listeners to the point where they can truly feel Mensa’s pain that fuels the project. Vic speaks about the death of his close friend “Killa Cam” through four perspectives: his own, Cam’s, the man who killed Cam, and the woman who had Cam set up. The raw lyrics and eerie beat immediately allow listeners to imagine the situation in a personal way. He writes to himself from Cam in heaven:
“I see you in that bathroom stall suicidal with that gun in hand
How could you wanna die? Shit is so good for you
Heaven ain’t that bad though
Just a lot of sunny days, mad dope
I smoked with Kurt Cobain yesterday, he said he liked your shit
And to tell you that you on the right path though
Don’t cry, I’mma see you when it’s time
And it ain’t time yet, so keep on your grind” Vic clearly knows his potential, but at times he feels lost without those he loves around him. In order to fill this void and feel their presence, he writes in their perspective in order to adopt their support in a spiritual way.”
On a quirky descending beat, produced by Pharrell Williams, “Wings” is a freeing song about Vic literally spreading his wings and letting the hardships of his past go, releasing the “New Vic.” You can hear the power in his voice as he sings about flying the album’s single.
“The Autobiography” is Vic’s way of emerging to the world as a strong and capable artist. Through his raw and personal lyricism he proves that he can, in fact, make it to the top and when he puts his pain and past into his music it creates an absolutely beautiful product. Vic has an amazing way of enabling his listeners to feel free and a sense of personal relation through his passion.
Listen to The Autobiography above.