Vic Mensa pays tribute to the Purple One with one of his tattoos.
Vic Mensa is one of many rappers in the culture today who use a variety of tattoos to not only express themselves creatively, but almost use it as a historical monument, in terms of influences on their craft. One such individual is Vic Mensa, the Roc Nation prodigy who spent the second half of 2017 opening for Jay-Z on his recent 4:44 tour. Now, in a video interview with GQ, Mensa is not only revealing the story behind one of his tattoos, but also name-dropping the celebrity it pays homage to.
The rapper delved into the meaning behind the "slave" tattoo that's on his arm, saying that there's a little bit of that feeling in everyone, no matter your background. "At some base level, where all slaves to something," he said. "Whether it's slaves to our iPhones, or Yahoo and Google—there's very few of us living a free life." However, perhaps more interesting is that fact that it's written in the same font that Prince used for his infamous face tattoo of the same word.
In the early 1990's, Prince was locked in a heated battle with Warner Bros. Records, after a large amount of the artist's backlog of music was released for what was made out to be a dubious contractual reason. Not long after that, the Purple One showed up for a TV appearance with the word "slave" written across the side of his face. You can see photos of that body art below.
Perhaps the Prince homages will be even greater for Vic Mensa one day. He's been reported to have enthusiasm for playing Prince in a biopic someday, but there's no word on whether or not that will ever come to fruition.