Vic Mensa plays guitar while skydiving in one of the wildest music videos of the year

Vic Mensa skydiving with a Fender Strat
(Image credit: Vic Mensa/YouTube)

Though playing guitar is predominantly about hitting the right notes in the right places at the right time in a seamless stream of thought, there’s a performative aspect to the instrument, too.

In other words, the guitar is a physical prop with which to engage audiences – to capture their visual attention as well as their ears, and to leave a lasting impression long after the song or solo is finished.

Vic Mensa, a guitar-playing singer and rapper, clearly took the above philosophy to the extreme in his new music video, which saw the versatile artist serve up some soulful licks over his track Strawberry Louis Vuitton while, um, falling from an aircraft.

And, before you ask, no, there was no CGI magic or camera tricks: Mensa quite literally straps up in a harness, takes his guitar up to who-knows-how-many-feet in the air, and coolly skydives back down to earth all while holding a red Fender Stratocaster.

As far as six-string stunts go, it’s up there with the wildest, and while we imagine Mensa was fully focused on ensuring a swift and safe return to solid ground, we applaud him for still managing to get his hands round the Strat for some performative licks and chords for the camera.

Aside from being an especially impressive piece of six-string showmanship, the single itself is also bound to cater to guitar fans, thanks not only to the smooth Strat soundscapes but the presence of bass guitar powerhouse Thundercat, who commands the low-end and serves up some subtle backing vocals.

According to Mensa, Strawberry Louis Vuitton was inspired by the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh, and the blue suit he wears under his skydiving overalls pays homage to a similar outfit seen in one of Abloh’s last collection films.

“When I heard the sample it just spoke to me, so I chopped it, made the beat, and wrote the song on the spot,” Mensa said in a statement.

“It was really a freestyle. I always imagined Thundercat doing the bridge… we recorded it when he was on tour and I was doing my art show in Chicago. When Virgil passed away I kind of felt like he had given this song to me; the gift that keeps on giving, in a way.”

We've seen our fair share of six-string daredevils over the years. Examples that spring to mind include Ariel Bellvalaire, the Strat-toting pop-rocker who performs stunts while she shreds, and a multi-instrumentalist named Bassil, who covered Sleep while standing on a motorcycle, while balancing on an amp.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.