October 3rd: 16 Shots

vic-mensa

Feeling music withdrawals?

Get your music fix for the week of October 3rd

Brought to you after getting all riled up about the 1st Presidential Debate. Hillary’s shimmy though… 

MUSIC TRACK OF THE WEEK


“16 Shots” – Vic Mensa

Listen here:

MUSIC HEADLINE OF THE WEEK


THE STORY 

Vic Mensa is speaking out about his own encounters and experience with police brutality.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Just in the past two weeks alone, we’ve witnessed the wrongful deaths of two black lives in the hands of the popo, Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott. The police officer responsible for Crutcher’s death has been charged with manslaughter. People are still demanding the video release of Scott’s death.

Fatal police force and brutality isn’t a new topic by any means. It’s been happening for decades, and it’s just getting to the forefront of news media now. Racism plagues us daily, and it dates back to the despicable practice of slavery that built our nation. We share the sentiment that the frequency and pervasiveness of fatal police shootings against blacks are absolutely atrocious. As one would describe and many would agree, “it’s like modern day lynching of blacks. They shoot ’em dead like white mobs used to hang them from trees with no due process. If you’re not white, or look Middle Eastern, we are all threatened.”

It’s like modern day lynching of blacks. They shoot ’em dead like white mobs used to hang them from trees with no due process. If you’re not white, or look Middle Eastern, we are all threatened.

So, it’s critical, now more than ever, that those with power and influence exercise it towards surfacing these issues that leave many of us helpless, saddened, and incredulous. More and more celebrities are doing this, whether it’s injecting it in their art form, or speaking up in interviews or on social media. It’s impressive to hear rapper, Vic Mensa’s powerfully raw story unfold about his unique upbringing in Southside Chicago. He straddled two worlds that allowed him to experience “white” privileges of attending a magnet school and living in Obama’s neighboring town, and yet, also “black” consequences of racial profiling by security guards at school.

Laquan McDonald’s death happened in their shared hometown, and it struck an especially big chord with Mensa, having once called Laquan his homie. In case the death of another black life lost at the hands of police has escaped your memory, 17-year-old Laquan was shot 16 times by police, after walking away from them, creating a traffic lane distance between the two, and spinning to the ground once the first shot was fired.

It happened in October 2014. Protestors flocked to the streets, Mensa included. He inserted himself in the middle of a charged but peaceful protest, while the police officers – there to “protect” and maintain peace amongst the gathered civilians – used their force on Mensa and others.

His parents also influenced a great awareness and appreciation for basic civic duty, and in this interview, he takes a very matter-of-fact approach for his final takeaway: “Don’t wait for the shit to explode. Register to vote, and go vote so that you can be a part of this society you live in and have some type of voice. Take the opportunity to make your opinion matter. Affecting change in the hood, [country and world] is why you should vote.”

Don’t wait for the shit to explode. Register to vote, and go vote so that you can be a part of this society you live in and have some type of voice. Take the opportunity to make your opinion matter. Affecting change in the hood, [country and world] is why you should vote.

ANYTHING ELSE?

How is it that we live in a time where there’s actually a possibility that the greatest nation in the world could succumb to Trump as its President? He’s shown the world his blatantly racist tendencies. He’s conducted his businesses with discrimination, disrespect, and disparity to the minority groups he’s employed. Issues like police brutality will only continue to persist, and police reform will happen at the pace of a turtle, or worse. If we want to keep moving forward from what the Civil War and Civil Rights movements set out to do – bringing unity of all races in the supposed melting pot of a country we live in – then let’s do our part in the easiest way possible this year. Register to vote, AND go vote on November 8th.

SING ALONG


WHAT ARE MUSIC FANS TALKING ABOUT?

Bon Iver is back with a new album, 22, A Million, just in the knick of time to kick off his tour in Berlin. It’s been circulating through the music vine that tickets for his NYC show sold out in 10 seconds. My first piece of review commentary? What’s up with the unusual track title naming conventions? They’re sprinkled with an assortment of random special characters. But, more importantly, the album plays in true Bon Iver fashion, a blissful calm that blankets you in a cozy slumber. Listen to the full album available on Spotify.

WHAT YOU WONDER WHEN YOU VISIT THE GUM WALL AT PIKE PLACE MARKET AND HOW MUCH BUBBLEGUM TRASH IT HAS HELPED ACCUMULATE

The Chainsmokers released yet another bubblegum pop trash single, “All We Know,” that’s somehow even less inspired than “Closer” and the uncomfortably close portrayal of Andrew Taggart and Halsey at this year’s MTV VMA’s. While we’ll undoubtedly jam along to this auto-tuned track, we’re also sorta ready for this bubble to pop.

HOW YOU REACT WHEN YOU BARELY SEE RIHANNA SINGING LIVE AT THIS YEAR’S MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

Ever been Curious George about the man behind the vocals in Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close,” “Summer” and his recently debuted track, “My Way“? From time to time, Calvin apparently likes to shake it up a bit and sing in his own tracks while he works his god-like production touch. Talk about multi-talented. Talk about a major TSwift upset. Talk about #girlbye.

Sidenote: Rumor has it that TSwift was the involuntary muse for “My Way.” I mean, there’s no point even asking for her permission after the “Famous” Kanye debacle. It also feels like a loosely-based electronic concept to Sinatra’s legendary “My Way.”

WHO THREW DOWN A BILLION DOLLARS IN AN ELEVATOR?

Solange (better known for her notorious elevator altercation with her bro-in-law, which revealed infidelity rumors in Bey and Jay’s bedroom) released her third studio album, The Seat at the Table. Publicly endorsed by her Big Sis, B, on Instagram, I want to say, “she definitely needs all the publicity she can get after the year B has had,” but she’ll surprise you with her social commentary, smooth criminal sounds, and collaborations with Lil Wayne, Sampha, and more.

WHERE 90’s-2000’s POP SENSTATIONS GO TO ESCAPE IRRELEVANCE

The Backstreet Boys announced their 18-show, Larger Than Life residency in Vegas at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. They’re now joining the Vegas ranks of Britney Spears, Boyz II Men, and Mariah Carey. It’s a big step up from selling tickets for their tours on Groupon these past couple years. Way to bring yourself back from the dead, boyz!

ALBUM ANTIDOTE OF THE WEEK


The Birth of a Nation by Various Artists

To tie it all together, this soundtrack comes with impeccable timing to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It starts off with a bang(er) with Vic Mensa’s “Go Tell ‘Em.” A slew of African-American musicians – Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Nas, Leon Bridges, and more – have come together to complement the release of the film, The Birth of A Nation. The film is also out in theaters now: “Nat Turner is an enslaved Baptist preacher who lives on a Virginia plantation owned by [brother], Samuel Turner. With rumors of insurrection in the air, a cleric convinces Samuel that Nat should sermonize to other slaves, thereby quelling any notions of an uprising. As Nat witnesses the horrific treatment of his fellow man, he realizes that he can no longer just stand by and preach. On Aug. 21, 1831, Nat’s quest for justice and freedom leads to a violent and historic rebellion in Southampton County.”

ARTIST ANTIDOTE OF THE WEEK


Mac Miller. Brought to my music radar by Belgian friend and music/concert enthusiast. Related artists include Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, and track names include “Donald Trump,” “Cinderella,” and “Dang!” What’s not to love? Listen here.

Like what you hear? Tune in every Monday for the next weekly recap.

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