Album Review: Vic Mensa “The Autobiography”

Roc-Nation fans and executives should be proud of this project and the talented efforts displayed by Vic Mensa. On the first listen through, I was captivated 15 seconds into track one, and that feeling rarely dissipated. Without saying more, I present a review of  Vic Mensa’s “The Autobiography“…

Track 1- Didn’t I (Say I didn’t): Vic spitting that 🔥🔥🔥 from the jump. A intro tale of the victory, peeping the blessings and chronicling the everyday struggle that not even money can fix. The “I told you so” of songs; the crew, the family, the Roc – he told them all and this soulful rap tune is the epitome of self-acknowledgment and braggadocio.

Track 2- Memories on 47th St: recalling the tales that make Vic, Vic; Observing gun violence, drugs using and selling, the rise and fall of his acclaim to stardom. All the elements that make his tales so vivid. How drugs are used to self medicate or alleviate.

Track 3- Rolling like a Stoner: every hip hop album needs some catchy druggie tune: the rockstar life mentality and reality is mixed like a good drink on this track.

Track 4- Homewrecker: when you act like an “ain’t shit” dude and get caught with a side piece but still somehow seem surprised when your girl flip out??! When that crazy chick side you KNEW she had comes out and there’s no telling how it’s going to end; you just know property getting destroyed during the lashout. And he didn’t even tell the side piece he had a girl lololol do better Vic. Police show up, potential DV admittance, the whole tale explored featuring Weezer taking it home.

Track 5- Gorgeous ft Syd: Vic didn’t learn from the previous track, caught between two gorgeous ladies and it seems that he thinks he can sing his way out of it. “Shooting stars are hard to hold down.” Let me know if they buy that spacial excuse bruh. He can’t help himself, so act crazy ladies, Mr. Mensa doesn’t mind.

Track 6- Heaven on Earth ft The-Dream: why undeserving youth and loved ones end up with their lives cut short. If you could write to them and they write you back telling them everything you didn’t get to say before they die. Tough insightful tune told thru a sad story. The setup behind his losing a brother to gun violence is as vivid as any other take you’ve heard to if you really listen in.

Track 7- Card Cracker skit: finishing touch on the track before: the details from the flexing thief on expenditures from Vic stolen AmEx

Track 8-Down for Some Ignorance (Ghetto Lullaby) ft Chief Keef and Joey Purp: despite the rampant gun violence that seems to plague the city of Chicago, Vic explores not retaliating with violence to combat violence… Yet, everyone doesn’t operate the same; others don’t give a f**k and are willing to lay it down in the name of ignorance.

Track 9- Coffee and Cigarettes: unsubtle reminders of your ex… a rock-n-roll ready tale of old about one of Vic’s past experiences  

Track 10- Wings ft Pharrell Williams & Saul Williams: self-reflecting tune exploring a look back at the decisions you make along the journey of life, ups and downs of attempted flight while you spread your wings…

Track 11- Heaven on Earth (Reprise): credit to the-Dream for his singsong exploration of the hypocrisies plaguing human existence. Relative to the black family first, of course.

Track 12- The Fire Next Time: how your ascension in the game means victory for so many more people than just you, how with the support system behind you , even if they are all you have behind you, that success is the only outcome. You’ve been doubted before, didn’t stop you then, won’t stop you now or ever.

Track 13- We Could be Free ft Ty Dolla Sign: if social division became addition, a dream of financial freedom for family, acknowledgement of the blessings despite the bulls**t, being the source is burden of course, but without it, others around you wouldn’t taste real freedom. Acknowledgement of the social issues plaguing my home state of Louisiana with the latest publicized police/civilian shooting (i.e. Alton Sterling) and the subsequent flooding that occurred a few months past; you’d think state government would know how to deal with excess rainwater by now, instead, the same areas experience severe flooding from anything more than a inch or two of rain. 

Track 14- Rage: self explanatory really. Add a melodramatic beat and the conceptual idea of being the shooting star / falling angel in the face of adversity.

Track 15- OMG ft Pusha T: my favorite off the album, credit to Pharrell with some Adlib and hook work to bring the flossy finish. Dope song, don’t have to over explain this one.

Overall, this has been one of the best rap albums  I’ve listened to in 2017. As he is a slept-on artist, I expect Vic Mensa will not receive the acclaim he deserves, but it is understandable; ultimately, Vic knows exactly who he is and from where he’s journeyed. Aren’t we all looking for that same clarity?

Peace,
D.R. Johnson

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Calm river waters /

move at no man’s pace /

how soon they forget /

“la tortuga” wins the race.

Waiting on… clarity…
The moment where I reflect & say, “I knew at that instant, the piece would change life for the better.”

This supercilious love affair will last forever…
Observing reality and bouts of pure triviality that stem from being humans chained to gadgetry…
Vice city lifestyle aspirations, hoping to hit the lotto & economically shift our station…

We ebb & we flow…
gamble…
ups & downs are all we know.

So I have written/ write/ am writing

reverent pieces for before&after death…

wishing my last breath, was drawn in some 

other century’s breadth.

Dear poetry,

For a minute I had lost my way.

I had placed you on a shelf and 

you just asked por que?

 

We’ve been together since I was a young boy,

inseparable like conjoined twins

you give me so much joy…

 

As cliché as it seems I’m back. Not necessarily better than ever, but inside of me there’s a new light and you’re the reason I beam.

 

The spiteful “I” was glad that while I was gone nobody came alone and managed to get in between you and I by damaging what we both know and feel is so strong.

 

For that I’m grateful.

 

But I won’t lie I would’ve been mad if someone had exerted dominance over you like an over-bearing stepdad.

 

I’m such a hypocrite.

 

Toss you aside while new acquaintances occupy my present mind, but if you ever chose to leave me I’d get defensive with my pride.

 

It’s not that I don’t think of you.

 

If I ever had to prove to you that I love you I’d never deny it.

Shit I relish at the opportunity for you to see the antagonism that’s been berating me, ailing me, keeping my thoughts from fleeting to thee, mentally impaling me.

 

But I know it’s just excuses.

 

So to put it short, I’m here for you my dear. 

 

I’m re-opening myself to you in an attempt to make it clear that if you ever feel forsaken I’ll be the first to shed a tear.

If you ever feel deserted then you can damn sure be for certain that I’ll recapture that magic and reveal you behind the curtain.

 

Afterall, I’m here to stay.

 

For a minute I had lost my way.

I had placed you on a shelf and 

you just asked por que?

 

We’ve been together since I was a young boy,

inseparable like conjoined twins

you give me so much joy…

It was a Tuesday.
That was the day you didn’t come back and I came after you. 

We were the space between wrong and right.

We were the shade of grey in the sunset seen by few eyes.

Being melted into a single entity put you and I on one rhythmic accord.

Of course you used to fight it and scream and complain that you’d call the cops, but I knew all along what your heart was saying.

We were the blade that cut too deep.

We were the deadliest piranhas.

Fear was just a mere unfeasible condition. Yet, in that same microcosm, we were just a small candy.

An efficiently power punching proportion treat that was trimmed too soon and treated with disregard.

That cliff opened its arms for us. Or rather for you; ladies first of course.

This cliff is where we lived to come as kids.

This is where you died.

Remember that?

Do you remember that day we first realized we were meant to be?

I don’t remember it either.

It was before N.Y., before Cairo, before Cape Town. 

You said we’d die together.

I remember seeing a tv special about how to roll out of a moving vehicle.

It worked just like they said it would.

The way that car went flying over the cliff’s edge with you in it just took my breath away.
You should have seen yourself. 

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