“in time all of the peace will start coming together… people will get it. They won’t only see the controversy. I feel strongly that in five years, it will make a lot more sense.“
A state of stillness and flow, contradictory, but that’s the life we live—one of duality, highs and lows, light and darkness, shallow and deep.
The roots tugged on today were Victor Kwesi Mensah’s, Mensah meaning “the third born son”, mostly known as Vic Mensa. Chicago raised but Ghanian through and through. Mensa winds us into the tape that is his state of being at this current time, which to us can be described as “characterised by the absence of fear” much like how Mensa describes Chi-town.
Like an eclipse Mensa doesn’t allow unwanted light to disrupt his channel, what he shares with PAUSE is his symbiosis of being Ghanian as well as from Chicago but also a Black Man that is a beacon of light when it comes to wellness, creativity, style and flow.
PAUSE took a moment to discuss the transitional period between Mensa’s early tapes as well as an appearance from then to now, along with how fashion and culture differed from then to now.
You came to set as fresh as ever today, I didn’t expect anything less to be honest. What keeps you flowing with divine energy?
Gratitude, it’s gratitude. I meditate constantly and I’m in an ever-revolving process of returning to a state of gratitude. I just make a conscious effort to recognise every blessing, appreciate every collaborator, every supporter. I had a great time on the shoot, and I really just feel grateful to all of y’all for putting that together. That’s how I stay divine, just through connection to God and gratitude.
You’re really into meditating, right? Yoga too?
I’m a little light on the yoga, man! I’m about to get on the yoga though because I’m starting to understand that internal strength is as important, maybe even more important, than external strength. I don’t think that’s any different for your body. A few years back I got into the gym real heavy and I got real buff, but I know I haven’t done the work on my internal core strength and that’s what you need to not injure yourself. So, the same philosophy that I’ve applied to my mind… I do as much exercise on my mind that I do with my body. So, I need to do that with my body as well, so I’m going to get on the yoga. Might catch me on a mountain in Tibet!
Which brands are in your wardrobe?
Shout out to my Ghanaian homies, Free The Youth and Daily Paper. Pyer Moss, Balenciaga, Rick Owens… I don’t know I’ve been wearing these big old boots, these new rock boots.
Those are fire! Where are they from?
I think I bought them in LA. I was wearing those a few years ago when I was super punked out. I just realised they were the perfect boot.
Was that the phase where you used to have your dreads?
I had dreads yeah! I got these boots, these specific boots. I got them and painted them when I was on tour with Jay-Z in like 2018. I had this custom red leather suit that might’ve been from Pyer Moss, and I would wear these boots with that. So that was my everyday school look outfit. Now I have an everyday winter outfit that’s like these gigantic Balenciaga pants with these boots, I’m just kind of wearing the same thing every day right now.
Are you someone who’s loyal to a brand or a certain aesthetic/silhouette?
Nah… right now, I’ve just been liking everything baggy, everything baggy. That’s more so what I’m feeling now. I used to wear the skinniest f*cking pants all the time, I can’t imagine how I did it all the time… I did it so much that I convinced myself that I was comfortable (laughs)
I did it too!
Got to stop giving a f*ck! I was never going to be comfortable in those little ass jeans!
That’s the flex!
Just to close it, there’s no way I can’t speak on mental health, especially from a black man. So, walking in the boots that you’re in, how does that look for you? And what would you like Black men to do differently in how they deal with their mental health?
I’d love to see more Black men in therapy. Therapy has been super beneficial for me, and traditionally Black men have been discouraged from seeking mental health treatment for fear of being labelled as crazy, which is a stigma that has been used to discredit and control us. In the modern age, it’s important and necessary for us as the victims of so much trauma to accept and to use mental health care.
That’s beautiful. What words would you leave with those who wish to seek therapy?
Just go for it, man! People are often afraid of letting somebody in or being considered to have a problem. Honestly, it’s just an objective opinion that’s only purpose is to help you grow, so I’m a big supporter of therapy.