Monday, June 6, 2016

Vic Mensa - There's Alot Going On Review

Fellow readers, it is 'a lot' not 'alot.' Do not listen to Vic Mensa's asinine grammatical errors, and while you're at it do not listen to Vic Mensa at all. There's Alot Going On is just as bad as that error makes it out to be. A few years ago Bishop Nehru, underground New York street rapper, suddenly received co-signs from Nas and MF DOOM, even going so far as to releasing an album with the latter. Nehru, as is now clear to most, is a bland poet who provides nothing new to the grand scope of Rap, regurgitating styles outfitted decades ago, ones that existed then in much better fashion. Vic Mensa, with numerous co-signs, the biggest of which is Kanye West thanks to his appearance on 'Wolves,' is largely doing the same thing. Rather than remaking a sound long since past, he's mirroring those who currently own the genre, hoping to cash in on trends without an image of his own. There's Alot Going On, in more ways than one, is a clear showing of this, a paltry EP where mediocrity reigns supreme.

'Dynasty,' the opener, is the EP's best track, seeing Vic proudly flaunt his whereabouts in the game with an ever-changing beat fluctuating behind him. As is also the case on closer 'There's Alot Going On,' Vic can be easily compared to any and all emcees currently relevant in Hip-Hop today. This time, with his self-referential, self-diagnostic lyrics that fail to go one layer deep, the most obvious names like Macklemore and J.Cole (at his worst) jump off the page. Then there's his attempts at moving political pieces, specifically '16 Shots' and 'Shades Of Blue,' the former retelling the police brutality with regards to Laquan Mcdonald, the latter detailing the poverty of the Flint water crisis. His beliefs are poignant and intact, but rather than seeing the scope of the situation and providing awakening answers like Kendrick Lamar, he comes off as shamefully pseudo-enlightened, riding the coattails of others like Raury or Big Sean. He isn't providing gravity or substance like his Chicago counterpart Chance The Rapper, he's simply regurgitating encounters we've already known. Every facet of There's Alot Going On has been done before, in many cases beaten to death, by artists more aware, lyrical, and dense.

It isn't just the topical content that sees conforming here, arguably clearer is Vic's flow and rhyme snatching from artists like Kanye, Kid Cudi, and Travis Scott, ironic considering the latter was accused of such acts first. The most offensive tracks here are 'Danger' and 'There's Alot Going On,' where Vic does his best Drake impression. His verses, vocals and flow, sound exactly like him, so much so that it puts to shame the typical biting scapegoat Desiigner with his main influence, Future. Given enough time with Hip-Hop's A-listers and you'll see similarities everywhere, like Travis Scott on 'New Bae,' Childish Gambino on 'Liquor Locker,' and Chance on 'Shades Of Blue,' although that last one is a bit forgivable considering they came up together. The lack of true identity here is tangible, and, frankly, embarrassing. There's Alot Going On is a perfect example of an artist simply gliding off the success of others, trailing behind their lead in the same lane without a discernible image to call their own. And what would a bad release be without a nice dash of hypocrisy, using the Damn Daniel viral craze in a bad light while, two songs previous, dedicating an entire song to one ('New Bae'). Mediocrity has never sounded so bad.


  1. So why did it deserve a 3? You savaged it.

    1. For reasons listed in the review haha. I don't think he's doing anything remotely original that'll set him apart from others, and gives off a real trend-hopping vibe to me. Plus a lot of the music I don't enjoy, that again going hand in hand with it being rather stale to me