I strongly associate music with memories. I want to write Bonus Track weekly (hopefully!) to document those memories.
I recently discovered the brilliance and beauty that is Vic Mensa, thanks to the lead singer of one of my favourite groups. Vic Mensa tackles politics, black activism, his love of Chicago and seamlessly blends all of his influences into his style. Currently on tour with Jay-Z and signed to the Roc, he cites Missy Elliott, Nirvana, Prince, Jimmy Hendrix and youngins like Earl Sweatshirt as influences.
His latest album, Autobiography, is hit song after hit song, but I fell in love with a song he released on his ep The Manuscript. I love Vic’s music for his biting delivery and hard-hitting verses, but on “Rage” he slows down and sings. He has a slow piano accompanying him, and the chorus breaks, making the song feel like the kind of thing you’d raise a lighter to, surrounded by others.
The chorus starts with, “I want you to rage into the night/ I want you to blaze into the light,” making literary allusions to Dylan Thomas’ famous poem “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night.”
He uses the song to speak about poverty, societal pressure to own things, to have the right brands, the technology-focus of our generation and, as is always present in his work, to talk about the overt racism and microaggressions that POC face.
In the outro of the song, his voice feels like it’s cracking, and a choir joins his voice, as he sings, “Count on me to rage/ Before the final flight/ Before the final flight/ I want you to rage/ I want you to know, you know you’re right.”
Hear the song and see the lyrics here.