Vic Mensa Has Lethal Words About Flint, Michigan’s Deadly Water (Video)

Vic Mensa is no stranger to the problem of corruption in politics. As a Chicago native, he and millions of others saw first-hand what happens when a politician’s career takes precedence over justice – at least that’s what opponents of Mayor Rahm Emanuel say. When unarmed Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by police and video of the incident was released, an unfortunately similar-sounding uproar ensued. Critics argued that the video was surreptitiously withheld until after Emanuel was re-elected, a flagrant disregard for justice for McDonald’s family, if true. Whatever the case, it incensed Chicagoans and others who feel misled by the very people voted in to uphold the protections of citizens, but the Windy City’s recent scandal is far from unique. Flint, Michigan has also become in many ways the headquarters for conversations about corrupt government, and Mensa has some choice words for the city’s officials. And then some.

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On “Shades of Blue,” a blistering criticism of various social ills, Vic Mensa places the Flint water crisis in the crosshairs of his bars. A standout track from his recently released There’s Alot Going On, the song was chosen by the folks at Genius as a subject of a video segment in which the young MC delivers a verse a cappella and discusses the inspiration from some of the song’s lyrics. As he excoriates those who placed financial gain over the well-being of poor residents, Vic Mensa saliently raps things like “now you’ve got toddlers drinking toxic waste, while the people responsible still ain’t caught no case,” and hearing the thought process in his songwriting brings the points home even further.

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“Our nation has turned their back on the people that are not serving their interest,” he says. “There is a lack of accountability for the people in positions of power,” he adds while discussing the role of Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder in the ongoing ordeal. Also filled with news-reel footage compiled by Genius, the interview is another example of Mensa’s conscientiousness as a lyricist, and Genius opts to spend some time allowing for Mensa to reflect on one particularly powerful bar. “It’s lead in the water gun, he dyin’ from a full clip,” he raps about Flint children getting sick from drinking the toxic stuff coming from their faucets. He reflects on the statement, saying “the image of a little kid playing with a water gun filled with lead water like, swallowing it. I thought that was something that could make you see something.”

Vic Mensa also performed at the #JusticeForFlint concert event, and recently took part in CNN’s “Gets Political” video series, taking on Donald Trump, the Orlando tragedy, and more.