Vic Mensa, Roc Nation’s Prodigy, Rocks the Bay

08/11/2016

The Social Hall in SF is a small and quaint joint but on Friday night there was nothing quaint about it. Joey Purp and headliner, Vic Mensa, shook the building in front of highly energetic and enthusiastic fans.

Mensa’s tour mate, Joey Purp, a Chicago native himself, opened the night and set the stage for what was about to come. Purp revealed that it was his first time in San Francisco that night, which was surprising considering many fans were already singing back his songs. He definitely left an impact on the fans that night as he performed songs off of his mixtape iiiDrops. His performance got the crowd in the right mood for the fast paced performance of Mensa that was foreshadowed.

As soon as Mensa hit the stage the crowd was hungry ready for Mensa to feed them whatever he had. He started off with “16 Shots” off his EP There’s Alot Going On, the main emphasis of the night. The song focuses around the epidemic of police brutality in America. The lyrics give you a vivid description of what it’s like to grow up in the streets of Chicago as a young black male dealing with the issue of police harassment. The heavy bass line made for a great opening song and had the entire crowd singing and jumping.

Mensa’s political agenda didn’t stop there. He performed the song “Free Love” in which he explained to the crowd, that solidarity must be found between different groups that are oppressed by the system. If you cry for help, you must be willing to answer the call when others cry for help. He wrote the song in support of the LGBT community and while the song was not a roof raiser, the change in tone was an excellent intermission to his hour long set. It reminded the crowd that sometimes there are things bigger than music that we need to be aware of. This sentiment was reinforced by the song ‘shades of blue’ in which Mensa talks about the corruption involved in the Flint water crisis.

The songs “New Bae,” “Danger,” and “U Mad” released the intensity of the crowd and showed how loyal the SF fan base of Vic Mensa really was. During the song “U Mad” in particular Mensa decided to crowd surf and really engaged with the fans and kept building on the vitality of his fans that he carried through the rest of the night. He capped it off in stylish fashion by bringing Joey Purp back on stage and finishing the show with the freestyle they had on Sway in the Morning back in July. A give and go freestyle, leaving the crowd with a nice gem to finish the night.