Watch Vic Mensa's Stirring Performance of 'We Could Be Free' on 'Colbert'

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS
Vic Mensa performs on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Nov. 20, 2017.

On Monday night (Nov. 20), Vic Mensa performed an emotive rendition of his The Autobiography cut "We Could Be Free" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. 

Mensa appeared under a bright spotlight on the dark stage and was accompanied by a string quartet who was nestled on the side of the stage. As the somber piano arrangement permeated the space, Mensa flexed his vocal chops and delivered the poignant hook. "We could be free/ If we only knew we were slaves to the pains of each other/ One thing I believe, I could learn," he sang in a feathery, falsetto-like voice. 

Mensa then departs from his soulful voice and launches into a passionate rap about appreciating his life and all the blessings bestowed upon him despite any issues he's dealt with. "Spend so much time countin' issues/ I forget to count my blessings/ Watch my cousins back at home," he raps before returning to his silvery croon. The camera pans to a four-person choir, who are all dressed in black robes with social injustices like "Sexual Abuse," "Police Brutality," "Domestic Violence" and "Mass Incarceration" inscribed on the front of the robes. 

The song finds Mensa dishing on his own problems as well as his frustrations with the world. In an interview with Billboard, Mensa admits that he went through his fair share of hardships, which led him to start working on The Autobiography. “I really did make a conscious effort with this album to try to be understood,” he told Billboard. “I was leaving no stone unturned. I felt like I had to be unapologetically me. I had to be able to tell all my truths.”

Watch Vic Mensa perform "We Could Be Free" below.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.