Vic Mensa covers a Radiohead classic.
Vic Mensa has had a busy year, finding himself at the center of an Everyday Struggle controversy, as well as releasing his Jay-Z approved album, The Autobiography. Since then, Vic has been establishing himself as one of the wisest young stars in hip-hop, using his platform to speak on important social issues like police brutality and racial injustice. And while his Autobiography album was certainly a strong effort from Mensa, some felt as if the album lacked a cohesive musical direction. However, perhaps that's simply a testament to Mensa's eclectic musical taste, which range well beyond hip-hop.
On a recent trip overseas, Vic Mensa hit up BBC's Radio 1 Piano Sessions to lay down a faithful cover of Radiohead's classic "Karma Police." Considering the fact that Radiohead's arrangement features a piano and acoustic guitar, it's certainly a deviation from Mensa's usual sound. Still, it's evident that the rapper is a fan of the legendary group, and he turns in a respectable effort of the 1997 OK Computer single. Backed by an acoustic guitar player, Mensa handles Jonny Greenwood's piano duties as he softly delivers Yorke's cryptic lyrics. Vocally, Mensa is solid, even during the song's falsetto-driven climax; his voice isn't exactly as strong as Yorke's, but few people in any genre can dare make such a claim.
It's a cool blend, and hardly the first time Radiohead has integrated into the hip-hop world. The British group has been sampled by Lloyd Banks, Lupe Fiasco, The Roots, and more. Radiohead's multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Jonny Greenwood has also collaborated with Frank Ocean, handling arrangements on Blonde cut "At Your Best." Check out Mensa's cover below, and if you're ever looking to get into something outside of hip-hop, Radiohead's Kid A and Amnesiac saga is a trippy, experimental odyssey. What do ya'll think of this cover? Did Mensa nail it, or should he stick to rapping?