Chicago rapper and activist Vic Mensa has released details concerning his new project, I Tape out March 26 via Roc Nation. The announcement follows a striking performance of his new track “SHELTER” and his yet-to-be-released song titled “FR33DOM,” with Wyclef Jean and Peter CottonTale on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
The artists’ performance also included a moving poem that was written and recited by Julius Jones, a man who currently sits on death row despite strong evidence that points to his innocence.
The performance was directed by Andre Muir, who also directed the artist’s music video for “SHELTER,” which illustrates the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the black community. It emphasized lyrical themes that fans can expect to see more of on the upcoming project.
I Tape will be a five-song project dedicated to bringing attention and focus to the types of injustice Mensa has brought to light with his other musical endeavors and social activism. Fans can expect to hear more of Mensa’s dedication to issues of racial injustice, overcriminalization and struggles of people living in underserved communities.
The South Side artist rose to recognition through his work in the hip-hop group Kids These Days, as well as for his work as a founding member of the Chicago collective SAVEMONEY alongside Chance the Rapper. The artist’s 2013 debut mixtape, Innanetape was well-received by both critics and fans. The artist also founded a nonprofit organization aimed at empowering BIPOC individuals called SAVEMONEYSAVELIFE. I Tape follows the release of the artist’s critically acclaimed 2020 project, V Tape.
Mensa also appeared in a video titled “17 Ways Black People are Killed in America,” alongside artists like Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Offset and more. The video was aimed towards urging the Biden presidency to create a racial justice initiative within his first 100 days in office, detailing issues and instances of systemic racism in the United States. The rapper was also part of the virtual Lollapalooza 2020 lineup.
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado