Chicago rapper Vic Mensa nearly died trying to get into Lollapalooza. How’s that for a “most memorable” festival moment? Speaking to Billboard on Saturday, Mensa opened up about a terrifying, but spiritual, near-death experience a few years ago while trying to crash the festival’s gate. The “Feel That” artist had successfully entered the grounds the day before — he saw a “dope” J. Cole show — but ran into trouble during his repeat attempt.
“I was trying to get in and they had upped security from the day before — it was just impossible to get in like I got in the day before,” he says. “I was trying to do something crazy, climbing down the train structure over on Monroe over a bridge. And I touched a transformer on my arm right there [Mensa shows noticeable scarring on his left arm].”
Touching the transformer sent an insane 15,000 volts of electricity through Mensa’s arm and out his elbow, jolting the rapper and sending him off the bridge he’d just scaled.
“My arm just shot out in front of me and it was strange… it was really surreal,” he recalled. “I was seeing myself from an overhead view, like, and I just saw my arm shoot out like Frankenstein and I fell like 30 feet. Then I got up, which was weird too, cuz I definitely could have broken my neck.”
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Mensa spoke to Billboard before performing Saturday at Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park. “You know, the whole thing was a spiritual experience, just living and being back is just amazing.”
When jokingly asked if Lollapalooza had almost killed him, he calmly responded, “I’m pretty sure I almost killed me, but Lollapalooza was involved. The pursuit of Lollapalooza almost killed me, so to have it in my hands at this point in time is dope.”
Mensa’s Lolla performance followed the release of his “Feel That” video, which topped the Billboard’s Trending 140 chart in mid-July. Mensa said he’s currently “stockpiling music and just figuring out my next steps. We’ve got some behemoth announcements in the works… but the next six months are gonna be dope. Cuz I’ve got far more than six months worth of music so and I’m still creating stuff everyday… the best of anything I’ve made. So the next six months is gonna see some dope music from me.”