On Monday night (Nov. 7), Vic Mensa graced the stage during Jimmy Kimmel Live and delivered a powerful performance of the politically charged “16 Shots” on the eve of Election Day. With the country teetering between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for president, lines are a bit divisive now, with the increase in police brutality affecting the African-American population being a particularly hot-button issue.
Mensa used the platform to speak on the ogoing violence plaguing his city of Chicago, especially at the hands of law enforcement. In the beginning of his performance, he rapped his verse a capella before being joined by actors dressed in SWAT attire on-stage.
“Ready for the war we got our boots strapped/ 100 deep on State Street, where the troops at?/ The mayor lying saying he didn’t see the video footage/ And everybody want to know where the truth at/ On the South side where it’s no trauma centers, but the most trauma/ A lot of cannons but you don’t want no drama,” he raps, before being pressed by the pseudo cops.
Travis Barker joined in and helped create a stirring performance, dedicated to Laquan McDonald, the 17-year-old teen who was shot and killed by five Chicago officers in 2014. Towards the end of his performance, Mensa gave a riveting speech in hopes of urging people to vote in this year’s election.
“I’m a young black man from Chicago, and I’m tired of not being able to trust the police,” he said. “I want to have faith in the men and women sworn to protect me. I don’t want to see another 17-year-old kid like Laquan McDonald murdered in the street. So when I hear a candidate talking about ‘law and order’ and ‘stop and frisk is the answer to our problems’ — you don’t know our problems in Chicago, and you damn sure don’t speak for us.”
He continued, “Tomorrow we have the biggest election of our lifetime, so you gotta get out and vote against hate, because Donald Trump is a racist and if you don’t vote, racism wins.”