Chicago native Vic Mensa is no stranger to political activism. Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, Mensa speaks openly against police brutality in his hometown, particularly in the case of Laquan McDonald, a black teen who was killed in 2014 by the Chicago Police Department. Mensa also joined a protest in Chicago in November 2015, after a video was released of officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times.
In a video acapella of “Shades of Blue” released by Genius, Mensa aims his most critical rhymes at the Flint water crisis, rapping, “Shorty thirsty, he just bought his fourth fifth/It’s lead in the water gun, he dying from a full clip/Now you got toddlers drinking waste/While the people responsible still ain’t caught no case/I don’t get it man, I just ain’t with it, man.”
During the Genius interview, Mensa heavily criticized Michigan authorities:
“One thing you would think is that we all have basic human necessities, but as we see in Flint right now, that’s just not the truth. Our nation has turned its back on the people that are not serving their interests…there is a lack of accountability for people in positions of power and that’s not the way that this nation is being sold to us, you know what I’m saying? It’s being sold to us as a land for the people, governed by the people.”
While Michigan officials were charged with Flint’s water poisoning, Governor Snyder has yet to be questioned. The water crisis began in 2014, as lead from old pipes trickled into Flint’s water supply. More than 12,000 children have been exposed to contaminated water. Snyder finally declared a state of emergency in January 2016.
Mensa also questioned how institutional racism in Flint played a factor in the water crisis by asking, “I just want to know, if you were to tip the scales, and it wasn’t 60 percent black and 30 percent white, but if it was 60 precent white and 30 percent black, would the same things have happened, you know? Given, everybody’s broke, but that was just something that tipped my brain.”
Watch the eye-opening video below: