During Ebro Darden’s Beats 1 radio show on Apple Music on Thursday night, Chicago rapper Vic Mensa premiered a powerful new song titled “16 Shots,” which is dedicated to Laquan McDonald, the Chicago teenager who was shot 16 times in 2014 by police officer Jason Van Dyke. Mensa described the hard-hitting record as “self defense.”
“To me, Laquan McDonald represents Emmett Till, which represents every name down the line,” Mensa said. “Since then, a lot of things have changed, but one main thing [that] hasn’t changed, is that our lives are not respected.”
Mensa said he found inspiration for the song from protesting in the streets after McDonald’s murder; he opens the song by talking about being “100 deep on State Street.” Listen to the song below.