EP Review | Vic Mensa – The Manuscript

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This EP was released on June 8th this year. There was almost no promotion for this project because it was only announced like 2 or 3 days before being released. As far as I can tell, this is just meant to be a quick teaser for his upcoming album. A lot of people don’t realize how strange it is that Vic Mensa has still technically never released an album. He blew up in 2013. I’m really not sure what the hold up is. Early on he was releasing a lot of singles—most of which were trash—and he eventually dropped that 7 track EP last summer, which I had mixed feelings on. I think he’s a decent artist tho. I can’t always get behind everything he puts out, but I’m pretty optimistic about this EP. I think I’m gonna like this.

Track 1: Almost There Feat. Mr. Hudson (Prod. No I.D.)

This beat is cool. Vic starts goin’ in almost immediately when the track starts. This first verse is average. I don’t have any problems with it. It’s sufficient.

When I get low this is how I fly away / You thank me, no, thank you; you the reason I’m alive today / That’s no exaggeration, I’m just glad you’re lis’nin’ / Me & Dion got more soul than your grandma kitchen.

He’s basically just thanking his fans for being patient, and telling them that the album is coming soon. Hmm… I wonder how people would feel if Jay Electronica did something like this… I guess people would appreciate an EP, but it’s been too long, so an apology wouldn’t mean shit to be honest. Anyway, the hook from Mr. Hudson didn’t really do much for me. The best thing about this song is the production. The second verse is cool. I like it when he talks about racial injustices, but I really don’t think he’s that impressive lyrically. I like the content, but the actual lyricism isn’t gonna blow anyone away. This line was pretty cool tho.

Birth of a Nation, shout out to Nate Parker / They take the spotlight off you if you a shade darker / But we made our own American on this cotton field / ‘Til we got a black millionaire for every Emmett Till.

His flow is pretty cool on this verse too. I also really liked the way he ended it. This is a good song. It’s not something I’ll be coming back to personally, but I think it’s worth giving a shot. I wasn’t really feelin’ Mr. Hudson’s contribution, but everything else about the song was cool.

Track 2: OMG Feat. Pusha T (Prod. Pharrell Williams)

Excuse me, where the fuck is King Push? The “prelude” came out two years ago. I guess it was dumb for me to expect it to be out by now. Just because he called it a prelude doesn’t mean it wasn’t a full album. Anyway, I think there are some uncredited vocals from Pharrell on this hook. It’s definitely not Pusha T, and it doesn’t sound like Vic either. It’s an alright hook. The beat’s cool. The first verse was pretty good. Vic’s just talkin’ a lot of shit. He definitely gets extra points for saying fuck Bill O’Reilly. His verse kinda sounds like something I could see Kanye spitting. Except it’s not as stupid as the average verse from Kanye West in 2017. The second verse was really dope.

Young Vic, the diamond’s finest / I shine like Puff signed Shyne / Except I signed to the Roc ’cause I’m timeless.

That shit he said about gangs was dope, and I liked the shot he took at Ian bitchass Connor. Pusha T fuckin’ killed it. That shit he said about having a face down to a table full of blow was so dope. This line was fantastic too.

We could go foreign for foreign until it’s boring / My sheep will keep jumping the fence until you’re snoring / Street poetry, I’m on Wale Folarin / ‘Til the world is mine like Illmatic & Lauryn.

This song is dope. I think it would’ve been decent if it was just Pharrell & Vic, but I’m a borderline Pusha T stan, so he really made this shit worth listening to. I really fuck with this track.

Track 3: Rollin’ Like A Stoner (Prod. Larrance Dopson, Da Internz, Mike Dean & No I.D.)

Okay, I just saw an update on King Push. He says it’s 85% finished, the majority of the production is handled by Kanye, and it’ll come out this year. I can’t fucking wait. Anyway, this beat is dope. It sounds like it has an Electronic influence. He’s singing the entire first verse with a really repetitive melody. Wow. The hook uses pretty much the same exact melody too. This is easily my least favorite song so far. I thought it was gonna be good at first, but it just gets old way too quickly. It’s a really commercial sounding track. He’s not singing on the second verse. His flow was kinda cool at first, but it sorta deteriorates as the verse progresses. It just ended. Yeah, this is definitely the weakest song so far. It’s not super wack; I liked the production a lot, and it had a nice melody at first, but it’s just way too repetitive for me personally. I’m not feelin’ it.

Track 4: Rage (Prod. Vic Mensa & Mike Dean)

Vic’s singing on the intro right now, and it actually sounds pretty good. The melody of the first two lines had me worried that he was gonna be interpolating the Bridal Chorus tho… Woah. This hook is awesome. The beat is pretty good too. I love the percussion. This kinda sounds like an Alt-Rock instrumental. I think this is gonna be my favorite track. The first verse was nice. Man, this beat is so fucking dope. This is definitely the best beat on the EP. This is also the most introspective song on the project too. This kinda reminds me of the way he ended his previous EP. That last song was also very introspective and emotional. The second verse was dope. The song just ended. That was dope af. Honestly, this is my favorite Vic Mensa song. I love this track.

Final Thoughts:

This is a good EP. It’s very flawed, but I enjoyed it. The songs that I didn’t really like personally weren’t even bad; they were just kinda average. This project isn’t gonna be on anyone’s “Top 5 EPs of 2017” list—if people even make those—but I think it’s worth checking out. It’s only four songs, so it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot. Even if you don’t really fuck with it, there’s nothing on here that could really be considered trash in my opinion. I think this is a step up from the previous project. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with his album. I don’t think I’m gonna love it, but I’m sure I won’t dislike every single song. This is a good project.

Favorite Song: Rage

Least Favorite Song: Rollin’ Like A Stoner

B-

70-79

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