His Inner Demons and Personal Growth :The Autobiography Album Review
Vic Mensa exposes a lot of his past pains and addresses a lot of his inner demons; yet, he is still rising to greater and better things. Releasing his album, The Autobiography (As Told by Vic Mensa) on July 28th, this album has the hit tracks OMG, Rolling Like a Stoner, Wings, and Heaven on Earth. One thing I can say about this project is that it is the little things that count. This album is not entirely cohesive in sound, but it still works through the way he decided to transition each track into one another. The backbone of the whole album is the electric guitar chord progressions. As he asks in Say I Didn’t, “Didn’t I tell you this was the new birth of the Roc, nigga?”, the rock vibe is something I can definitely hear. It has a nice flow to it where the songs don’t sound to similar where they can stand on their own, but not to different where it seems out of place. His perceptions on his life experiences and how he articulates what he learned from them is very interesting, specially Homewrecker. It shows his skill of diction, how he uses the term differently. Instead of talking about cheating ruining a home, this is a different type of homewrecker. The home is being wreaked by the both of them; their constant fighting which gets out of hand when one day the cops come knocking on their door.
Leading into the following track Gorgeous, it was a nice transition since he was talking about a crazy female to gorgeous females. He talks about the gorgeous female being crazy. It might be the same female from Homewrecker, or he might just have a thing for crazy women. The most heartfelt song on the entire album is Heaven on Earth, his letter to his big bro Cam, who died with a bullet in his head. Showing that everyone loses a loved one and that kind of hurt takes a while to heal. Vic raps, “You was a good nigga, but the good niggas always die young, fucking ’round with them hood niggas”. I like how he also writes a response to his letter which shows how much he anticipates an answer from him and how well he knew his brother’s personality and words (what his brother would probably say to him right now). This track gets even better when he raps in the voice of a random man messing around in the streets inspired by the way his brother lived his life, which got him killed. It was kind of like listening to a movie. This is Vic Mensa’s storytelling at his finest. I don’t think any other track was as emotional, laid out, or hard as that one.
I was not a huge fan of the features. Not that I don’t like the artist that are featured individually, but I don’t really think they were used the right way for some songs. Down for Some Ignorance (Ghetto Lullaby) ft. Chief Keef & Joey Purp was okay. I feel like it was a good transition from the skit Card Cracker. If that song were placed anywhere else, I don’t think it would have worked out too well. Wings ft. Ty Dolla $ign and Heaven on Earth ft.The Dreamer were the best collaboration on the album to me and my favorite songs. In Wings, he clearly exposes his inner demons and fear that have the strength to hold him back, but he was able to overcome them. Although Mensa has “problem[s] nobody knows” about, this project definitely shows personal growth and progress (Rollin’ Like a Stoner).
The Autobiography has a little bit of everything. You get a sense of Vic Mensa’s past pains and struggles. You even get a glimpse of what he’s like when he is in love in Coffee and Cigarettes or how some of his relationship have played out. Each song has a different vibe, that goes with each experience. This is a story about his life that he captured in his own way. This is a new age of rock, with a pinch of alternative hip hop here and there. This Chicago rapper has come a long way, career wise and personally. Although some of his lyrics expose his deep suicidal thoughts he once had, which can be a little uncomfortable for some listeners, it’s a story worth listening to and a story worth being shared.
The Autobiography is out now on iTunes and YouTube: