Vic Mensa debuts rock band 93PUNX with political satire “Camp America”
The video and lyrics for “Camp America” are very political.June 14, 2019
The video comments on the current situation involving immigrant children being held in U.S. custody. It features Mensa in ICE gear and showing white children in cages.
The video depicts the “family detention” centers being used by the U.S. These centers are filled with thousands of children who were separated from their families at the border.
The video shows children in jumpsuits dancing around and playing while not realizing they’re being tortured and held in captivity.
“My intention for using white kids as opposed to minority children is to point out the blatantly obvious fact that this would never happen to white kids in this country or maybe anywhere on this earth,” Mensa told The Daily Beast. “Although the nature of the actions the kids were involved in were graphic or shocking, it was all taken from actual occurrences reported at ‘detention’ centers.”
He continued to discuss the actual children portrayed in the video.
“All of the children’s parents were present and the children were really smart and understood the political statement being made—they wanted to be a part of it. Nothing about this is about shaming white children; it’s about showing that this simply would never happen to white children.”
“The science has shown that early childhood trauma (like being ripped from your mother’s arms) has devastating effects on the development of a child,” he adds. “That’s why I made the song.”
The lyrics are just as gruesome as they blatantly call out the current situation involving the migrant children in custody.
“We’ll be living it up, not giving a fuck/Splitting you up, then we put you in cuffs/Then we shipping you off, yeah, you could get lost at Camp America,” the lyrics read. “Take your clothes off baby, let me see what you got/We can have a good time if you’re legal or not/Its an ignorant, arrogant, terrorist, heritage/You can finally be an American.”
The chorus repeats, “I wanna have the best summer ever,” which Mensa explained the inspiration behind.
“The song’s lyrics were inspired by ICE director Matthew Albence comparing the immigration detention centers to summer camps,” Mensa said. “I thought that was a crazy fucking idea and wanted to create a world with this song that imagined that twisted alternate reality, where it was fun for kids to be held as prisoners, drinking out of toilets, away from their parents, and somehow enjoy it like one might at a summer camp.”
The video ends with a message that reads, “There are over 13,000 immigrant children in U.S. custody today. What if it was your kid?”
You can see the full video for yourself below.
More on 93PUNX
Mensa chatted about his clothing line 93 Punx, which has constructed many of the custom leather jackets he can be seen wearing. At the time, he also explained 93 Punx would be the name of his punk project and not just his current line of clothes.
“That’s a line I’m doing,” he says. “That’s going to be releasing with a project that’s like a punk project, another EP basically that I did. So, Hooligans, I had these different energies, just rap songs that I made, not particularly for a project, throughout the year.
“I also was making this punk music,” he continues. “As I came to have these two different separate entities, I was like, ‘OK, let me not try to just mash all of these together and have to compromise being to go all the way.’ I took the records that were more in a rap space and made this project out of them. And the punk records are going to be on that album.”
He then explained Barker is working with him on the punk project, hopefully as an executive producer, for the EP that’s looking to be a full album.
Darden asked Mensa how he would incorporate the punk sound, whether playing guitar or just using alternative beats.
“I feel that punk and what punk is, is not a sound,” he says. “It’s not a delivery, it’s not even a style of production, a set of instruments—it’s an attitude. I think what differs the 93 Punx music that is coming out in the spring, it’s also got the voice.”
Mensa then elaborated more on his influences and who else he worked with on 93 Punx.
“The Clash and the Dead Kennedys are my two favorite bands. But I’m also pulling inspiration from places like, obviously blink,” he says. “I got an ill record on there from Joel Madden from Good Charlotte. I had H.R. from Bad Brains in the studio.”
You can check out Mensa’s full interview below.
What do you think of the video? Sound off in the comments below!
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