8 Songs, 27 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Even before Vic Mensa’s 2017’s debut LP, The Autobiography, the rapper had a reputation for his outspokenness regarding law enforcement’s unjust treatment of black Americans. The Hooligans EP (the rapper’s first project since The Autobiography) opens with “Dancing in the Streetz,” a song with a pointed message for anyone unclear about his investment: “If the law don’t kill me first, the doors commit suicide/They gon’ shoot me if I don’t or if I do comply/At least I’ll die a black messiah even if I’m crucified.”

If Mensa is, indeed, concerned about his legacy, Hooligans is a dynamic portrait of the artist, addressing his struggles with substance abuse and mental health (“Dark Things”) and relationships (“In Some Trouble,” “The 1 That Got Away/No Shoes”); it even makes time for some good old-fashioned flexing on “Reverse.” Mensa has always been a man with a lot to say, but midway through the EP, he yields the floor to a gaggle of anonymous detractors by way of their threatening voicemail messages. The understanding is that Mensa has drawn their ire as a result of his 2018 BET Awards show performance, in which he called out slain rapper XXXTENTACION for his history of alleged domestic abuse. In the wake of the blowback, Mensa would go on to apologize to XXXTENTACION’s mother (who attended the show’s taping), but he saves the last word for himself on “Rowdy”: Alongside fellow Chicago native G Herbo, he reminds his critics that he’s still the kid from the South Side, shouting at them, “F**k up the street!/Run up, tweak/Call the police/The problem is me!”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Even before Vic Mensa’s 2017’s debut LP, The Autobiography, the rapper had a reputation for his outspokenness regarding law enforcement’s unjust treatment of black Americans. The Hooligans EP (the rapper’s first project since The Autobiography) opens with “Dancing in the Streetz,” a song with a pointed message for anyone unclear about his investment: “If the law don’t kill me first, the doors commit suicide/They gon’ shoot me if I don’t or if I do comply/At least I’ll die a black messiah even if I’m crucified.”

If Mensa is, indeed, concerned about his legacy, Hooligans is a dynamic portrait of the artist, addressing his struggles with substance abuse and mental health (“Dark Things”) and relationships (“In Some Trouble,” “The 1 That Got Away/No Shoes”); it even makes time for some good old-fashioned flexing on “Reverse.” Mensa has always been a man with a lot to say, but midway through the EP, he yields the floor to a gaggle of anonymous detractors by way of their threatening voicemail messages. The understanding is that Mensa has drawn their ire as a result of his 2018 BET Awards show performance, in which he called out slain rapper XXXTENTACION for his history of alleged domestic abuse. In the wake of the blowback, Mensa would go on to apologize to XXXTENTACION’s mother (who attended the show’s taping), but he saves the last word for himself on “Rowdy”: Alongside fellow Chicago native G Herbo, he reminds his critics that he’s still the kid from the South Side, shouting at them, “F**k up the street!/Run up, tweak/Call the police/The problem is me!”

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