Chicago rapper Vic Mensa has tried on a wide variety of looks and sounds since his debut with blues-rock band Kids These Days, from punk to hard rock to drill to trap. But his latest stylistic swing finds him trying on a whole new musical tradition. His new single, “Metaphysical,” takes inspiration from his profoundly affecting recent trips to Africa, taking on an Afropop sound complete with chants and traditional drums.
The song is also a switch-up for him content-wise as well. While previous Mensa recordings have addressed his personal demons, relationship drama, and the violence in his hometown, “Metaphysical” is a far more optimistic and upbeat approach, reflecting the more centered space he finds himself in these days. He flirtatiously teases the song’s subject, shooting his shot despite his paramour’s guarded stance.
“This is a song about desire,” Vic explains. “Admiration. Respect. Uncertainty. Surrender. Musically it‘s African, tribal. My father is Ghanian so I’ve wanted to take it there for a long time. I got Stefan Ponce who did ‘Down On My Luck’ for me & Papi Beatz and just spoke my truth into song.”
However, the outspoken MC can’t just leave his socially conscious streak completely out of his art. The Youtube art is a moving graphic depicting chained African slaves and a bare-chested woman lifting her fist. It’s a powerful reminder that although Vic’s latest single may be more lighthearted, he hasn’t forgotten the struggle that still continues on the continent.