Vic Mensa dropped his first single of 2020 Monday (Aug. 10) titled “No More Teardrops” featuring Malik Yusef and Wyatt Waddell, which speaks to the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement.
Mensa announced the single on his Instagram yesterday along with pictures from the BLM protests across the country. He paints a fiery image in the first verse with “police cars on fire in the streets,” which the rapper emulates in the song’s accompanying visualizer except a Confederate flag burns in front of him.
Mensa also shouts out the late rapper Nipsey Hussle (“That’s why the only blue we salute is to Nipsey,” he raps), interpolates the top line of Billie Holiday’s classic “Strange Fruit” about Black men being lynched, and nods to Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville police in her home on March 13.
But the 27-year-old Chicago-born rapper also takes a hit on white anti-maskers not abiding by CDC recommended guidelines during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “White folks protesting ’cause they can’t leave/ Try twenty-five to life, that’s a real quarantine/ They just take the mask off when they can’t breathe/ But we got officers knees in our esophagus/ Face blue ’cause he running out of oxygen,” he explains while alluding to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by Minnesota police on May 25.
“No More Teardrops,” which he first teased during his virtual Lollapalooza 2020 performance on Aug. 4, will appear on the Roc Nation compilation project Reprise of social justice anthems that will benefit social justice organizations. It follows Jorja Smith’s “By Any Means” that the British singer-songwriter released on July 30.
Last month, Mensa lent his voice to four songs on the Defund the Police album, also featuring Lauren Jauregui, Aloe Blacc and more artists, that was produced by JusticeLA, #SchoolsNotPrisons, Question Culture and Reform LA Jails. The 17-song project supported the campaign to defund the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and allocate those funds to other local resources.
Listen to “No More Teardrops” below.