Rapper Vic Mensa Deals With Addiction, Mental Health In New Song

By David Konow 07/03/18

The 25-year-old rapper gets candid about relapsing, recovery and mental health in his new song "10K Problems."

Vic Mensa
Photo via YouTube

Chicago rapper Vic Mensa just dropped his second single in a month called "10K Problems." The song tackles addiction, his struggles with his mental health and dealing with family tragedy.

"10K Problems" immediately received strong reviews upon its release, and while the song is a little over two minutes, its impact hits hard from the beginning: “Niggas asking where I been at, I gotta recap it/Relapsing d-r-u-g habits/Tryin’ to move forward, depression been holding me backwards/Recovery ain’t a straight line.”

Then as Mensa raps on, he deals with his father becoming paralyzed after surgery. “It’s a painful process watching your parents die/And niggas look at my life and think I’m in paradise.”

Like the Fugees classic "Ready or Not," Vic Mensa rapped "10K Problems" over the same Enya song, "Boadicea." In the brief time the single has been out on SoundCloud, Rolling Stone has called it “cathartic,” and HotNewHipHop writes that “when Vic Mensa is his vulnerable self, he is able to weave a story with the best of ‘em.”

Continuing in the same self-confessional vein, Mensa also promised Business Insider that his next album will be “powerful, aggressive, beautiful, sad, all those things… Whenever I get into making an album, it’s always like a really self-reflective, self-expressive journey. And I’m learning about myself in real time.”

Mensa had previously tackled addiction in the single "Rollin’ Like a Stoner." In the song, Mensa rapped, “I am a disaster, I don’t need a recipe/Tried to be sober, that didn’t work for me.”

Mensa told High Times, “I really was writing that song about a point in time in my life, for the most part. I was fucking with a lot of drugs. I went sober and then I’d do hard drugs some time ago.

But I still bounce back sometimes,” hence the lyrics in "10K Problems" where he raps, “Recovery ain’t a straight line.” (As a Mensa profile in Billboard reports, Mensa’s favorite drugs included mushrooms, acid, Molly, and Adderall.)

Mensa added that artists should be open about drugs and alcohol, as well as their mental health struggles. “I do think that shedding some honest light on drug use is important… A lot of youngins growing up in the hood, they witness death and despair firsthand… and we’re trying to deal with trauma often through external substances.”

Mensa admitted he sees a therapist, and practices meditation as well, and he “100%” feels that “the stigma is lessening” around mental health, “but it still needs to be introduced in a major way.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.