Chicago rapper Vic Mensa may have been sober for the last six months, but in a recent interview he opened up about a time when that wasn’t the case. Anyone who’s checked out Mensa’s EP There’s Alot Going On may have noted the lyric “I did acid in the studio one day and almost killed myself” on the title track. It turns out that particular line holds more truth than you might have thought.
Talking to the Phoenix New Times, Mensa clarifies that although he still has a drink of an evening, he has left drugs behind. Like a number of other artists, he describes how at an early point his career he was relying heavily on different substances to fuel his creativity; “It was really like a handicap, but I got to a point where I just felt like I needed drugs to write, to be creative, and thought it was psychedelic drugs.”
Asked directly about that lyric, Mensa confirms that the track was inspired by real events. Telling how his overuse of certain substances just caused him to have bad trips, he relates how he progressed to acid. “I was in the studio with some of my friends and we did acid and we started buggin’ out, somehow things just took a really negative turn. I just felt really low and at the bottom of it, and I was on the ground trying to sink into the floor.” He also told how he happened to have a toy pistol in his car, and in retrospect he is sincerely grateful that it wasn’t a real one.
Mensa confessed that that experience actually left him “scarred” for at least a year while he felt the depressing after effects of the bad trip. Saying that “I was just thinking about bridges and all that suicidal shit,” he goes on to imply that he would never touch acid again but he also puts his experience down to his state of mind as well as the drug itself.
It seems that Mensa is exploring more than just his previous drug addiction in his music, with themes of personal relationships and childhood across the album. Questioned about whether he’s worried about alienating fans with darker concepts in his music, he replied “No. I’m just worried about being real, making dope music, and it’ll reach the people that are ready for it, and hopefully make some of those who aren’t ready for it open their eyes and their ears and their hearts.”