Although there is no definite release date yet, Vic Mensa‘s debut album has some inescapable hype surrounding it. Titled Traffic, this album comes quite some time after his first – and only official – release, INNANETAPE back in 2013. He’s had a slew of singles including his breakthrough single Down On My Luck as well as a collaboration with Kaytranada, but now he is shifting his focus to his new, and very political, sound.
Since signing to Roc Nation and being somewhat taken under Kanye West‘s wing (their collaborative U Mad? is still on heavy rotation for me), Vic Mensa’s eyes have been opened to the trials and tribulations around him. The Chicago native has become more and more outspoken about racial and social injustice, and now it seems Traffic is a sign of him continuing to head in that direction. Speaking with Clash, Mensa detailed a few key details about the forthcoming record.
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has lent some live vocals after he got wind that Mensa was sampling Weezer’s track, The Good Life, as well as teaming up with TV On The Radio‘s Dave Sitek for production duties. Sitek is one of four guest producers on the record, alongside Mike Dean, Illangelo and John Hill, but apart from that, Traffic will be left relatively feature free.
He will also be focussing a lot on police brutality, and the murders that happen to African Americans at the hands of the police. Ring The Bell serves as a tribute to these victims, with Mensa saying, “Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times in the street in Chicago, we had Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice…Ring The Bell is a call to action. Look at what the fuck is going on around us. We will not conquer that shit complacently; there is no possibility for a revolution without a fucking fight. It’s not just a march, it’s not a hashtag; it’s a global revolution that needs to take place in the streets, in our minds and in our communication.”
To read the full interview, and read a story of Mensa racing Puff Daddy down his hallway, head here. Here’s hoping Traffic is just around the corner, considering Mensa cancelled his upcoming Australian tour including his appearances at Groovin’ The Moo. I’ve got a feeling it’ll be worth it! Check out our interview with Vic Mensa here.
Image: Vic Mensa’s Instagram