It was nearly five months ago when Vic Mensa debuted “16 Shots,” a politically charged track that tackled the country’s ongoing issue with police brutality. The song was inspired by and dedicated to 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police in 2014. And now, just days after the second anniversary of McDonald’s death, Vic has released the striking visual for the track.
The official music video, released exclusive through Tidal, depicts Vic as a victim of police brutality. The imagery is intense, but incredibly powerful, as it shows the rapper being confronted by law enforcement, who intimidate him, beat him, and eventually gun him down. But, despite the officers' assaults, Vic is able to get up and take his stance. The video also includes parts of the dash-cam video taken at the scene of McDonald's shooting. The footage was released in 2015, and sparked countless protests across the country.
“This record is like self-defense,” Vic said during an interview with Ebro Darden. "Because to me, Laquan McDonald represents Emmett Till, which represents every name down the line and since then a lot of things have changed, but one main thing hasn't changed is that our lives are not respected."
Vic debuted the project at the Justice for Laquan Rally in Chicago’s Millennium Park on Saturday night. You can watch the "16 Shots" video, directed by Ace Norton, above and on Tidal here.