South London Hip Hop artist Vic Santoro has just recently completed a trilogy of Glory Days, a three-part series of EP’s, Pain, Progression, and Lifestyle. ‘Lifestyle: Glory Days Pt. 3’, just like the last two installments, is produced by mostly by Vic Santoro and Michelin Shin, and chronicles the come up of Vic Santoro, the trials and tribulations, and a redemption of sorts, via three different stages of his life.
Vic Santoro’s very own determination and passion for his craft have seen him take hold of his second chance in life, following an 11-year stretch in prison. Vic has come on leaps and bounds, literally turning his life around, pursuing a music career, which has seen him involved with some of Grime’s biggest names, as part of Tizzy Gang. Whilst music is his main passion, Vic has turned to acting, starring in Rapman’s ‘Blue Story’, as well as BBC’s BAFTA award-winning documentary ‘Gun No. 6’. Vic Santoro has also found a purpose by becoming a public speaker, inspiring those from similar backgrounds to choose another path.
‘Pain: Glory Days Pt. 1’ is a a 5-track EP, with production by Michelin Shin, and the first two tracks deliver with some deep, introspective lyricism from Vic Santoro, reflecting on the life he has left behind, spiritually cleansing his soul in the process. Both said tracks feature two brilliant singers in Junior SSC and Brenzo respectively. ‘Gaps’ features Vic delving more into his court case, whilst on ‘Outcome’ he revisits his school years, but throughout both tracks, music is a constant. ‘Reinvented’ closes out the first installment, with Vic Santoro taking an inwards look at his flaws, yet realizing his mistakes, determined not to let history repeat itself.
Straight from the off, ‘Progression: Glory Days Pt. 2’ is more upbeat, with ‘No Regrets’, once again produced by Michelin Shin. The level up is real for Vic, from obtaining some jewels to getting his life in order, dropping out negativity in order to shine. Some superb wordplay from Vic Santoro on this one. ‘Came and Saw’ slaps, a West-Coast influenced Hip Hop track from Vic that emphasizes the importance of a plan, whilst he reflects on those that haven’t been as fortunate. ‘Represent’ is a sort of reminder to the youth today to take advice from elders, with Vic talking some more about being guided on a different path whilst doing his prison sentence. ‘Top 5’ features beautiful, soulful vocals on the chorus from Elle Cato, and is a song about keeping strong, and Vic Santoro drops some big rhymes that shed light on the strength he had to overcome to get to this point.
‘Cigar Talk’ is the first track off of ‘Lifestyle: Glory Days Pt. 3’. From this moment, Vic Santoro is moving regal, as he rhymes about how he can finally provide for himself and his family, from clothes to food, and handing down life lessons to his kids. Vic Santoro and Swiss (So Solid Crew) both boss up on ‘Transition’, both counting their blessings for their come up, through hard work and faith no doubt. From tracksuits to suits, from the ghetto high rise to the skyscrapers, shaking hands with businessmen. Self-made and knowing his self-worth, on ‘Testament’, Vic Santoro rhymes about the determination he has had from young, overcoming his struggles and staying strong-headed. ‘Co-Sign’ is a far cry from Vic’s beginnings, finally getting paid legitimately from music and acting.
Vic Santoro’s story may not be too dissimilar to many other young people, especially in the black community, but he’s used the tools he was given by God, and used the skills he’s learnt to be creative in a positive way. Musically, Vic’s music from the lyrics to the production are keeping the heart and soul in Hip Hop, reflecting his reality, and how his environment and choices have shaped him into the man he is today. A faithfulness to God, speaking and writing skills, no doubt inherited from his mother (who was a journalist, often critiquing the government in her own writing), and the determination and belief in his craft, Vic Santoro is carving out his own lane, one that looks bright and positive.
Purchase Glory Days 1-3: https://vicsantoro.bandcamp.com/