On Kids These Days
As the talented MC in Kids These Days, it wasn’t until the group’s recent split that Mensa realized his own potential. “I think I spent a good deal of time in Kids These Days with the crutch of having other talented people to fall back on. Being together with a group of people that you feel are immensely talented, it’s a lot easier to take certain things for granted, you know. There’s the mentality of “We gotta make it.” I spent a lot of time in Kids These Days taking my own ideas for granted and pushing my own music to the back burner.”
With Mensa’s debut mixtape due to drop any day now, Mensa speaks confidently about his new endeavor saying, “It’s all on me now. I’m doing what I wanna do and I’m super f*cking excited cause I got a lot of music that I want the world to hear.”
On Save Money
2013 has seen the rise of Chance The Rapper, and in the process he’s helped shine a light on Chicago’s blossoming artist community, in particular his group of musician, producer, rapper, and videographer friends known as SaveMoney. Mensa tells the story of how the crew’s name came about saying, “Sh*t, I think I started SaveMoney. I got SaveMoney tatted on my arm. It was one of those things that just came out my mouth, which is most of what my music is.”
The extremely close group of friends bonded over more than just their love of music, “I remember one day it was like ten of us, we were walking to the store, probably to go save money on hella shit. We used to steal everything. We were like, “Yo we’re ten deep right now just on an average day, we need a crew.” I was standing there with my homie Reese, I just looked at him, shook his hand grown man style and said, “SaveMoney my n*gga.”
Adrian Says: Vic Mensa has come a long way in a short span since leaving Kids These Days, you can see the significant change in his lyrical content and flow. Dude is an uproar, chock-full of spontaneous one liners that are likely to be coined in your everyday slang. Everything he raps feels genuine, reflecting the mind of your everyday 19 year-old on the grind, causing mischief, dabbling in drugs, and all-around young fun. He won’t be overshadowed by Chance The Rapper for much longer. As he continues to refine his sound and release quality tracks and visuals a la “Orange Soda,” expect Mensa to make his mark on the Chi-Town scene in a big way.
Dre Says: Wasting no time after the break up of Kids These Days, Vic Mensa has begun to introduce the music world to his quick-witted, smart rhymes that often skirt the line between singing and rapping, filling in the gaps with his own sort of melody. Toting a positivity that most rappers can’t claim, Mensa remains grounded about the world around him, “They made a list of Chicago rappers and they skipped me / Maybe it’s because I’m so much more / Forget what you’re not this is about what you are.” He’s bold, but not careless with his choice of words, making it clear that he’s got something to prove.
Instances of soul, jazz and this insatiable, doo-wop-tinged sound float above Vic’s smartly worded lyrics about the music industry, politics, love, fear and everything in between. His music is more than a catchy chorus or gimmicky concept, it’s relatable. Vic Mensa is hip hop’s Holden Caulfield – we’re all coming of age together, and he’s just telling our story for us. When Adrian and I interviewed Mensa we asked him if he felt he had found his sound yet, and while he didn’t really answer our question, I realize now, asking that is like asking “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The INNANETAPE is Mensa’s coming of age tale in song form. There are moments of sheer brilliance, (that have nothing to do with his age), and other points that feel exploratory and new. For as great as I know this tape is going to be, I can’t wait to hear what is still yet to be created.