Vic Mensa has shared the artwork and details of his forthcoming release I TAPE, which drops on March 26, 2021 via Roc Nation. The announcement comes on the heels of a performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, in which Mensa was joined by Wyclef Jean and Peter CottonTale for a bespoke medley of recent single “SHELTER” and the as-yet-unreleased “FR33DOM,” both from the forthcoming I TAPE release. The performance was directed by Andre Muir, who was also behind the artful and melancholic music video for “SHELTER.” Whereas the music video was a visual metaphor for the perilous impact that Covid-19 has had on the Black community, last night’s performance honed in on some of the songs’ lyrical themes, challenging the power structure that perpetuates systems of overpolicing and unjust incarceration. The performance was rendered even more poignant by the inclusion of a poem written and recited by Julius Jones, who is currently on death row despite compelling evidence to back his innocence.
I TAPE is a formal follow up to last summer’s acclaimed V TAPE, which showcased profound levels of consciousness and self-reflection as he made his long awaited return to the rap spotlight. The new five song project, bolstered by production from Just Blaze and Smoko Ono, and orchestrations by Peter CottonTale, turns its focus to injustices that Vic has long addressed in his social activism work, both as an individual and through initiatives of his nonprofit organization SAVEMONEYSAVELIFE. Few are as schooled and as articulate as Mensa in detailing the carnage of the American system responsible for a history of racial injustice, and issues that affect the lives of people in underserved communities.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN TO FREE JULIUS JONES HERE