Vic Mensa is back!
Around the time Fresh & Local was making things official in 2013 with our podcast that launched everything, there were some very select artists we had high hopes for. Among that list was Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, EarthGang, Jon Bellion, Logic, and Rapsody. Ever since then it’s been an interesting process seeing all of them elevate and take their steps within the industry, gaining their own followings. Out of this class, Vic always seemed to be the sore thumb. Arguably one of the most all-around talents in the music business since his introduction, he changed his image from a clean cut Chicago kid to more of a grunge/punk rock aesthetic just as fans were getting familiar with the INNANETAPE. He had a very public fallout with his friend Chance, endured confusion as people debated whether he was going to be signed by Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music or Roc Nation with Jay Z (he went with the ROC), and voiced his very strong opinions about DJ Akademiks and XXXtentacion.
His debut album, The Autobiography, was released in 2017 which received great critical acclaim, but suffered from disappointing album sales. The project had production from heavy hitters like Pharrell and No ID with stellar features from Pusha T and Weezer - somehow the general populace never really knew the project was out.
Despite the lumps that Vic Mensa has taken in the music industry, he’s still enduring - or as his catchphrase states, he’s “still alive.” With his new EP, the V Tape, Vic takes it back to raw beats and honest rhymes. His wordplay on the project is sharp as ever and he continues to offer listeners insight into some of the moments we’ve seen play out in the public. The EP’s single “Machiavelli” featuring Eryn Allen Kane showcases all of the elements that people fell in love with from the beginning. Another standout on the project is the Thelonious produced “Bethlehem/SC Freestyle” that pulls inspiration from the Rocafella soul sample era and then goes into sampling Jay Z’s ‘Where I’m From” where he gets super focused.
The MVP of 2020 might be Hit-Boy, having placements on both Vic’s V Tape and Nas’ King’s Disease that both dropped at the same time. “Dirt on My Name” has the Save Money rapping coming out swinging with his opening lines ‘got a lot of dirt up on my name, I might’ve had a rap beef with the whole game’ and keeping the fire going from there. All in all, this is a very solid project from a more than capable artist that still has great potential to rise much higher in the industry ranks. Whether or not he has an interest in that is yet to be seen, and if not, we’re cool with that too. Be sure to stream the project now, don’t miss out!