In my second installment of songs I can’t stop listening to, I am sharing one of my favorites this year: There’s A lot Going On” by Vic Mensa.

Vic Mensa caught my ear back in his “Orange Soda” days, but since “Down On My Luck,” he had fallen off my radar. A friend played this video for me a few months ago and I was absolutely ensconced. I had not heard new music from him in a while, and this was a 180 degree flip from what I remembered. In this video (and in the lyrics) he does not leave anything to illusion – he is raw and authentic about his struggles, as well as the mistakes he made along the way.

This is one of those songs that is 1000% better when the video accompanies it.

He explicitly airs out any and all of his dirty laundry – concluding the song with his vow to a clean start. All this and he is only 23!

I am awe inspired by his resilience and tenacity in sharing his story. Songs like this remind me why music is such a beautiful form of expression. Rap receives endless criticism, but it is one of my favorite genres solely for how unapologetic and straight forward it is.

The lyrics that stand out to me the most are:

Everything’s changing around me
These days don’t feel the same

We all lost faith and lost family
Why must we play this game?

Lord have mercy on me
I’ve been a sinning man

Pull out my wings, jump off the bridge and crash in a plane
If I never land…

I love how he equates a free fall to an opportunity to fly. This song serves as a reminder that there is always more than meets the eye. Mensa found himself caught up in a scene that most of us in our early 20s can relate to (sooner or later). To see him rise through adversity inspires me every time (which, yes, is 18-34  times a day).