Rapper Vic Mensa is taking his talents to the big screen. The Chicagoan has been tapped to star in African/America, a biopic of late South African hip-hop pioneer Linda “ProKid” Mkhize. The feature film will see Mensa portraying Sydney Hall aka Syd Money, a Howard University alum who partners with ProKid and helps spearhead the making of the Soweto native’s groundbreaking album, Heads and Tales.
Rapped in Kasi, the IsiZulu and South African township slang that merges English and “vernac,” Heads and Tales helped spawn some of the most accomplished producers in South African hip-hop to date, including Draztik, Omen, AMU, Dome, Dplanet, Hoodlum, Beatmaker and Nyemz. Unfortunately, the life of one of South Africa’s most influential creatives was cut short on August 8, 2018. ProKid passed away after suffering a seizure.
Directed by Sky Dennis (Myra’s Angel), who co-wrote the script with actor/writer Jamie Burton-Oare (Soulful Steps), African/American is being produced by Hollywood legend Ruth E. Carter, who has worked on classic Black films including Do The Right Thing, School Daze, Coming 2 America, Malcolm X, Amistad, and Black Panther. In 2019, Carter became the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
“I am excited to tell this dynamic story about survival and cultural identities,” Carter told Black Film and TV, who broke the news. “African/American ignites the sense of right place, right time in a way that makes you believe that you can do anything you set your mind to.” Mensa’s role as Syd Money marks the multi-talents latest step towards solidifying himself as an actor, as he is currently cast in the fourth season of The Chi and also appeared in Saul Williams’ film, “Akilla’s Escape,” last year.