VIC MENSA ANNOUNCES ALBUM, SHARES “BLUE EYES”
Multi-platinum selling, GRAMMY-nominated rapper/producer Vic Mensa has announced that his long-awaited sophomore album, VICTOR, is set for release on September 15th via Roc Nation. “This album is a story of redemption; trial and triumph, pain & glory,” states Mensa. “It was forged from the rubble of a bad crash, literally and metaphorically, and follows my journey into spirituality, a return to Chicago, a return to Ghana and a rediscovery of myself.” The thesis of VICTOR is articulated most clearly in its song “Law of Karma,” which espouses that the only way for upward movement is through inward reflection. Executive produced by BongoByTheWay and largely self-produced the album delves deeply into this quest, with Vic taking stock of his trials and detailing the work he’s done inwardly and outwardly to try to affect positive change; through social work, sobriety, and delving into his cultural roots traveling to and working in Ghana. The album’s title and artwork were revealed earlier this week in a video clip of the artist Terron Cooper Sorrells (@ronronart) painting the life-sized portrait. With the announcement of VICTOR, Vic teamed up with Paper Planes for a special collaboration on a Limited Edition VICTOR snapback. The hat can be purchased at Vic’s site in a bundle with the VICTOR opaque yellow vinyl and also HERE. On the heels of the album announcement, Vic will be performing as direct support for longtime friend Chance the Rapper at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center this Saturday.
Vic Mensa has paired the announcement with the release of album track “Blue Eyes,” a deeply personal track in which Vic Mensa breaks down the internalized insecurities he experienced growing up biracial and addressing the toxicity of Euro-centric beauty standards. “The song ‘Blue Eyes’ is one of the most personal I’ve ever made and illustrates the impact of European beauty standards on the mind of the African, using my experience and that of my aunt who recently passed from the effects of skin bleaching.” The album has been preceded by a prolific run of singles, including the Virgil Abloh-homage “Strawberry Louis Vuitton (feat.Thundercat)” whose accompanying video featured Vic performing the song while skydiving, his reunion with longtime collaborators Chance the Rapper and G-Eazy “$WISH,” and his love letter to Chicago House music “Eastside Girl (feat. Ty Dolla $ign).”
VICTOR arrives in the midst of a monumental period for the Chicago-based artist. His longtime focus on deepening his ties with the Ghanaian musical community culminated this year with the Black Star Line Festival in Accra. Organized by Mensa and Chance The Rapper, the free one-day festival drew a staggering 52,000 attendees, treating fans to sets from Ghanaian mainstays like Sarkodie and Stonebwoy in addition to international acts including T-Pain, Erykah Badu, Jeremih, and his own widely heralded and rapturously received performance. Vic has also continued to culture build at home in Chicago through events like his widely acclaimed Skin & Masks art show at Kavi Gupta Gallery, as well as the recent launch of his top-selling brand 93 Boyz, which became the first Black-owned cannabis company in the state of Illinois. True to form, the 30 year old has foregrounded social activism as part of 93 Boyz’ mission, channeling a portion of the company’s profits toward causes such as his Books Before Bars initiative, which has distributed hundreds of books to underserved correctional facilities.