The Chicago native began his set with an a capella version of the first verse and just before the instrumentals kicked in, two people dressed as heavily armed policemen begun to wrestle with him. Shoving them off, Vic proceeded to recite his compelling lyrics which addressed police brutality. Towards the end of his performance, Vic cut the sound early and gave an impassioned spoken word-esque speech about the song’s inspiration and why it still sings of importance in regards to the elections today.
“I want to have faith in the men and women sworn to protect me. I don’t want to see another 17-year-old kid like Laquan McDonald murdered in the street,” Vic stated. “16 Shots” was inspired by the death of Lacquan McDonald, who was slain by police in 2014. “So when I hear a candidate talking about ‘law and order’ and ‘stop and frisk’ is the answer to our problems’—you don’t know our problems in Chicago, and you damn sure don’t speak for us,” he continued. “Tomorrow we have the biggest election of our lifetime, so you gotta get out and vote against hate, because Donald Trump is a racist and if you don’t vote, racism wins.”
Watch Vic Mena’s performance of “16 Shots” below.