Vic Mensa has released a short film to illustrate the poignant messages on his Victor album cut, “Blue Eyes.”
The powerful song finds Mensa reflecting on the role colorism and racism played in his upbringing as a biracial young kid from Chicago, and how he came around to love himself and his culture.
The video, which premiered on Wednesday (November 29), was shot in Jamaica and dives into the issues in a theatrical way – including one scene where a woman catering to conventional beauty standards by wearing a blonde wig removes it as the clip progresses.
“The song ‘Blue Eyes’ is one of the most personal I’ve ever made and illustrates the impact of European beauty standards on the mind of the African, using my experience and that of my aunt who recently passed from the effects of skin bleaching,” Vic said in a statement with the video’s release.
During an appearance on The Daily Cannon in late August, Vic discussed the subject matter of “Blue Eyes” and how he began working on the track years ago.
“I started writing it six–seven years ago, actually,” he said. “I had gone and done ayahuasca for the first time and I heard a higher voice that told me, ‘I used to want blue eyes, that is the root of my pain,’ and I thought that was so heavy.
“I knew I had to write a song, but it wasn’t until I left Ghana last year — my aunt, she had a wound on her face, and my father was telling me, ‘I asked her 10 years ago to stop bleaching her skin,’ and that broke my heart.”
Mensa proceeded to explain that she developed skin cancer as a result of the practice, which is what eventually took her life.
Speaking about the distorted self-image issues that continue to plague postcolonial countries to this day, he explained that it is “a huge issue across Africa, across the Caribbean.”
Vic Mensa has been on a powerful path in 2023, and recently celebrated a major milestone in his sobriety.
In September, the Chicago native took to Instagram to celebrate two years of clarity. Sharing a series of fitness photos, the 30-year-old talked about the lengthy yet rewarding process of setting himself straight.
“In many ways i would liken it to running up hill — at first it is difficult, but after time your strength increases, your endurance increases,” he wrote in the caption. “Two years i’ve been raw dogging life [crying laughing emoji] I’ve had to learn how to face my emotions head on, nowhere to run to, nothing to hide behind. I have thought a lot about the difference between fun and joy.
“Many of the things I’ve always done in the pursuit of fun didn’t actually bring me joy, were actually antithetical to the pursuit of joy. I’m at a point where if an action is not actively furthering my goals, professionally, mentally, spiritually, physically… it doesn’t have a place in my life right now.”
He concluded by declaring that he is building “the best version” of himself, someone who people will have to respect even if they don’t get his motivation.