Vic Mensa Uses 16 Shots To Say “If You Don’t Vote, Racism Wins” (Video)
In the canon of Hip-Hop music that captures the zeitgeist of American culture in 2016, Vic Mensa’s “16 Shots” is as real as any song. The There’s Alot Going On single was inspired by the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald in Vic’s hometown of Chicago. The 17 year-old was shot 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke—who was subsequently charged with first degree murder. Mensa’s single traces the incident, in the streets and politically, and also argues that it is sadly not an isolated one.
Last night (November 7), Vic Mensa was joined by drummer/producer Travis Barker to perform the single on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The impassioned performance included a police confrontation on stage (with officers in riot gear), who push Vic around. Then, Mensa delivers a powerful monologue to close. The MC/singer asserts that today’s US election (November 8) is as important as any, and allows all of us to weigh in (with our votes) on how we feel about hatred and racism.
“I’m a young Black man from Chicago, and I’m tired of not being able to trust the police. I want to have faith in the men and women sworn to protect me. I don’t want to see another 17 year old kid like Laquan McDonald murdered in the street. So when I hear a candidate talkin’ about law and order and stop-and-frisk as the answer to our problems, you don’t know our problems in Chicago. And you damn sure don’t speak for us. Tomorrow, we have the biggest election of our lifetime. So you gotta get out and vote against hate. Because Donald Trump is a racist. And if you don’t vote, racism wins. That’s what I gotta say” – Vic Mensa on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, November 7, 2016.
Last month, Vic released a video to the song that first released at the top of June.
From giving his EP away for free on voting platforms, to telling his own relationship with democracy, Vic Mensa has been one of Rap’s strongest voices surrounding this election. A Roc Nation artist, the former Kids These Days front man has been on those front lines with Jay Z, Freeway, and Beyoncé.