Vic Mensa is known for not being afraid to get political with his music, but during his Lollapalooza set Saturday night, he turned things up to a new level. As Chicagoist reports, surrounded by backup dancers clad in riot gear, Mensa punched his way through his set opener “Sixteen Shots.” The track is a commentary on the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, which happened not too far from where Lollapalooza is being held in Chicago. His performance of the song ended with a dramatic verbal recounting of the exact events that led to McDonald’s death.
After that, he brought out Lucy Stoole for a performance of his pro-LBGTQ track “Free Love.” Two of the riot gear police were actually a gay couple, whom Stoole married on stage during the performance.
Elsewhere in the set, he performed “Shades of Blue,” a track dedicated to victims of the Flint water crisis, and recounted almost dying while trying to sneak into Lollapalooza years ago. He noted that the high price of admission made the festival not very accessible to people on Chicago’s impoverished South Side. Check out some more pictures, videos, and general thoughts on the powerful performance below.