Despite being only 24 years old, Vic Mensa’s journey has been long and filled with challenges, but he’s emerged with his debut album, The Autobiography. As if you couldn’t guess from the title, this album is a deeply personal project from one of the brightest stars of his generation of artists.
So how did Vic approach such a milestone? By being honest. “I made a really conscious effort with this album to make sure my subject matter and the things I was talking about were things that held a lot of intrinsic value to me, and things I knew I could be proud to look back on in 5 years, or 10 years, or 20 years,” he said. “I believe every word I’m saying in this music.”
Vic found the experience of making this album to be freeing. He stayed focused on things that mattered to him, and the result was cathartic. “I was making this album not so much because I wanted to, as I had to. The things I was saying were things I had to say, to be able to move past them,” he said.
So now, the album is out. Vic is tight with Jay Z and Roc Nation (in fact he was just recruited to join the 4:44 Tour). But to get here, he struggled publicly with mental health issues and more. So, was it all worth it?
“Everybody stumbles in becoming adult, but I had the unique experience of doing that in front of people, while doing music and trying to give all of myself to the world,” Vic admitted. “I wasn’t right with myself, though. That can be a strange dichotomy, when your existence relies on giving yourself to people, but you ain’t right with yourself.”
“At the end of the album there’s a song called ‘We Could Be Free.’ It’s a vision for something that’s a lot less constricted than I feel a lot of our existence is in the modern world,” he continued. “We’re slaves to so many things– iPhones, GMO foods, our boss, the music industry, so many things– I had to go through my own trials and tribulations being locked up to those things, being hemmed up by these situations, to be able to understand the inner working of my mind and of the world around me. I wanted to present a vision for something more beautiful, more free.”