Video: Vic Mensa Says Laquan McDonald Shooting, Protests Inspire Him To Vote

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 27, 2016 7:31PM

Vic Mensa continues his metamorphosis into activist and provocateur with the first installment of a new video series, Why I Vote. Future installments will feature other artists including T.I. and Kesha, but they'll be hard pressed to match the intensity and forthrightness of Mensa's inaugural short.

Mensa reflects on coming up in a neighborhood plagued by aggressive police actions on the South Side and bemoans the fact that growing up in such a system of violence, many youth feel they have no other options. Mensa also recalls the protests he was involved in after the city released video of a cop fatally shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times, as clips of Mensa being restrained by Chicago police play. The video includes more clips of the protests and memorials for McDonald, who was 17 when he was gunned down while attempting to flee from police, and Mensa reflecting on his experiences with CPD.

"All my earliest memories with police officers were like, 'Hey, get your fucking hands out that hoodie before I punch you in the fucking face,'" he said. "You live with that enough and there's not really any turning back."

"It's hard not to feel like you are a Laquan McDonald, or you are a Trayvon Martin or you are a Mike Brown just waiting for shit to explode." he added. "I encourage people to go vote so that you can be a part of the society that you live in."

Summing it up quite simply, the video closes with, "I'm Vic Mensa; I'm 22. Affecting change in the 'hood is why I vote."