Vic Mensa

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Vic Mensa
Vic Mensa 2014.jpg
Vic Mensa, 2014.
Background information
Birth name Victor Kwesi Mensah
Born (1993-06-06) June 6, 1993 (age 23)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • record producer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2009–present[1]
Labels
Associated acts
Website vicmensa.com

Victor Kwesi Mensah[3] (born June 6, 1993[4]), better known by his stage name Vic Mensa, is a Grammy-nominated American rapper from Chicago, Illinois.[5] He is currently signed to Roc Nation and was a member of the group Kids These Days, which broke up in May 2013. He released his first solo mixtape Innanetape. Mensa is also founder of the hip-hop collective Savemoney which includes frequent collaborator Chance the Rapper. His debut single "Down on My Luck" was released in June 2014 by Virgin EMI.[6]

Life and career[edit]

1993–2012: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Victor Kwesi Mensah's father is from Ghana and his mother is white American.[7] Vic grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.[8] He attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and while a freshman, met Chancellor Bennett as a passerby (Bennett would later be known as Chance the Rapper).

2013–14: Innanetape[edit]

Main article: Innanetape

Mensa performed with Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn at Albarn's performance at the Governors Ball Music Festival, where he performed the track "Clint Eastwood", filling in for MC Del the Funky Homosapien.[9] When announcing a tour for 2015, Mensa said that he has plans to collaborate with Albarn sometimes in the near future.[10]

On September 18, 2013, it was announced, that Mensa would be joining J. Cole and Wale on the What Dreams May Come Tour.[11] Following the end of the tour, he toured Europe with Danny Brown, for the beginning of February 21, 2014 and ending March 8, 2014.[12] To cap off his rise to stardom, Mensa was chosen to be on the cover of XXL for the Freshman Class of 2014.[13] On May 12, 2014, his first official single "Down on My Luck" was serviced to urban contemporary radio in the United Kingdom.[14] On the same day, the music video for the song was released.[15] "Down on My Luck" was then released for digital download in international markets on June 6, 2014, by Virgin EMI Records.[16] It was released as his first single from his debut EP, titled Street Lights.[17]

2015–present: There's Alot Going On and debut album[edit]

On February 12, 2016, Kanye West debuted a track, titled "Wolves" from his upcoming album, The Life of Pablo. The song featured Vic Mensa, along with Sia at his adidas Originals showcase. Mensa later performed "Wolves" alongside West and Sia on Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary Celebration on February 15, 2015. On April 10, 2015, Vic Mensa released another collaboration with Kanye West, titled "U Mad" on SoundCloud. The song is said out to be his second single for his upcoming debut album, titled Traffic. On April 21, 2015, Roc Nation announced that Vic had signed to its label, and a video of Mensa signing the deal alongside Jay Z backstage at his On the Run Tour in Chicago was released on TIDAL. Jay also tweeted an iTunes link to Mensa's new Kanye-featured single in the process. He has stated, that the album is around 80-90% done and should be released in the upcoming months. [18] In July 2015, Mensa released a new song, titled "No Chill" onto Apple Music. It was produced by Skrillex and Jahlil Beats. On the same month, he released a remix of "Codeine Crazy", by Future, titled "Codeine Crazy (Icarus Story)" on SoundCloud. On August 14, 2015, Mensa released a new song, titled "I Been" on his SoundCloud. In 2015, Mensa received a nomination for Best Rap Song at the 58th Grammy Awards as a songwriter for co-writing Kanye West's single "All Day".[citation needed]

On February 8, 2016 it was announced that Mensa, along with Travis Scott and iLoveMakonnen, will be a part of Alexander Wang's "WANGSQUAD" campaign.[19] On May 17, 2016, Mensa was revealed to have teamed up in the studio with British virtual band Gorillaz to collaborate for a track on the group's upcoming studio album.[20][21]

On June 3, 2016, Vic Mensa released a 7-track EP, There's Alot Going On, as a prelude to his debut album. With only one guest feature from Ty Dolla Sign, the EP tackled issues such as the Flint water crisis, the Shooting of Laquan McDonald, and self-inflicted wounds.[22]

He and his friends were stopped by police for assumed stealing after his spending spree at Barney's of $4,000. [23]

He has performed as the opening act during Justin Bieber's Purpose World Tour in Europe.[24]

Artistry[edit]

In these recent interviews with XXL and Complex, Mensa cites hip hop artists such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, Timbaland, Eminem, Biggie Smalls, Missy Elliott, Lupe Fiasco, UGK, J Dilla, The Pharcyde, Nas, 2Pac and Hieroglyphics, as well as rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Gorillaz and Nirvana among his influences.[3][25] In 2013, XXL called his breakthrough mixtape Innanetape, a "lyrical nourishment" and commenting on his ability to "bend words at will, cramming syllables into lines with obvious glee."[26]

Discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Mixtapes[edit]

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US R&B
AUS UK
"Down on My Luck" 2014 [A] 37 TBA
"U Mad"
(featuring Kanye West)
2015 [B]
"No Chill"
(featuring Skrillex)[29]
2016
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured artist, showing year released and album name
Title Album
"Fast Life"[30]
(Asher Roth featuring Vic Mensa)
RetroHash
"Have U Eva"[31]
(Leather Corduroys featuring Vic Mensa)
Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Family"[32] 2012 Chance the Rapper, Sulaiman 10 Day
"Cocoa Butter Kisses"[33] 2013 Chance the Rapper, Twista Acid Rap
"Involved"[34] 2015 Towkio .Wav Theory
"Go with It"[35] The Internet Ego Death
"Around My Way"[36] Young Chop Finally Rich Too
"Around My Way"[37] 2016 Young Chop King Chop
"Wolves"[38] Kanye West, Sia The Life of Pablo
"Lose It"[39] Flume Skin
"Winners Circle"[40] Joey Purp iiiDrops
"Drive Me Crazy"[41] Kaytranada 99.9%
"Go Tell 'Em"[42] None The Birth of a Nation: The Inspired By Album
"Keep on Slippin"[43] Injury Reserve Floss
"All Good"[44] Liz Cross Your Heart
"Talk About It"[45] 2017 Erik Hassle Innocence Lost

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Down on My Luck" did not enter the ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles, but peaked at number 16 on the Australian Top 40 Urban Singles chart.[27]
  2. ^ "U Mad" did not enter the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 6 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, which acts as an extension to the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[28]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Nominated work Result
2015 mtvU Woodie Awards[46] Best Video Woodie "Down on My Luck" Nominated
2016 58th Grammy Awards Best Rap Song "All Day" (as a songwriter) Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vic Mensa — 25 New Rappers to Watch Out For". Complex. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ Releases — Closed Sessions
  3. ^ a b "Vic Mensa - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 
  4. ^ Madden, Sidney (June 6, 2016). "Happy Birthday, Vic Mensa!". XXL. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  5. ^ "5 Influential Rappers That Broke The Mental Health Stigma". The Huffington Post. 2016-07-27. 
  6. ^ Top Of The Year: The Deans List (Top 25 Artists of 2013). OK-Tho (January 2014). Retrieved on 2016-01-08.
  7. ^ McQuaid, Ian. "Vic Mensa: meet Kanye's punk protege". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ Spanos, Brittany. "How Rap Phenom Vic Mensa Cheated Death and Charmed Kanye". Rolling Stone. 
  9. ^ Young, Alex. (2014-06-09) Watch: Damon Albarn performs with De La Soul, Vic Mensa at Governors Ball. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved on 2016-01-08.
  10. ^ Moskovitch, Greg. "Vic Mensa Confirms Early 2015 Tour". Music Feeds. Music Feeds. Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Vic Mensa Joins J. Cole's 'What Dreams May Come Tour'". Illroots. September 18, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ C. Vernon Coleman (January 11, 2014). "Vic Mensa Joining Danny Brown For Upcoming European Tour - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ Sia, Nicole (May 5, 2014). "XXL Freshmen 2014 Cover Revealed - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ "BBC Radio 1Xtra Playlist". Archived from the original on June 13, 2006. 
  15. ^ "Isaiah Rashad - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "iTunes - Music - Down On My Luck - Single by Vic Mensa". Itunes.apple.com. June 6, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ Montanez, Eric (May 12, 2014). "Vic Mensa – Down On My Luck". Hypetrak. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ Grefe, Cliff. (2015-04-21) Vic Mensa Signs To Jay Z's Roc Nation. HipHopDX. Retrieved on 2016-01-08.
  19. ^ Smith, Trevor. "Vic Mensa part of Wang Campaign". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  20. ^ Brennan, Collin. "Gorillaz hit the studio with Chicago rapper Vic Mensa". Conseqeunceofsound.net. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  21. ^ Williams, Tom. "Looks Like Gorillaz Just Collaborated With Vic Mensa In Lead Up To New Album". Musicfeeds.com.au. Music Feeds. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  22. ^ Vic Mensa Talks Emotional 'There's Alot Going On' EP, Encourages Fans to Vote | Billboard
  23. ^ Robinson, Collin (August 5, 2016). "Vic Mensa and his friends stopped by police". Stereogum. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  24. ^ Huynh, Davis. "Vic Mensa & Justin Bieber Announce European Tour". Hypetrak. Retrieved August 12, 2016. 
  25. ^ Vic Mensa: Who is the New Chicago Rapper?. Complex (2014-02-06). Retrieved on 2016-01-08.
  26. ^ Xxlmag.com. Xxlmag.com. Retrieved on 2016-01-08.
  27. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 40 Urban Singles Chart". ARIA. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Vic Mensa: Chart History". Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  29. ^ No Chill - Single by Vic Mensa & Skrillex on Apple Music
  30. ^ C.M., Emmanuel (March 25, 2014). "Asher Roth Drops A New Song With Vic Mensa". XXL. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  31. ^ Nostro, Lauren (May 15, 2015). "Leather Corduroys and Vic Mensa Drop a New Banger, "Have U Eva"". Complex. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  32. ^ Graef, Jon (October 18, 2012). "Chance The Rapper Hilariously Disses Drake, Praises "Family" In New Video". Chicagoist. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  33. ^ Mac, John (April 30, 2013). "Download Chance The Rapper's 'Acid Rap' Mixtape". The Source. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  34. ^ Grefe, Cliff (May 2, 2015). "Towkio ".Wav Theory" Release Date, Cover Art, Tracklist, Download & Mixtape Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  35. ^ Adams, Gregory (June 2, 2015). "The Internet Tap Janelle Monáe, Vic Mensa, Tyler, the Creator for 'Ego Death' LP". Exclaim!. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  36. ^ Baker, Soren (November 14, 2015). "Young Chop "Finally Rich Too" Release Date, Cover Art, Tracklist & Album Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  37. ^ Hernandez, Victoria (June 10, 2016). "Young Chop Crowns Himself "King Chop" On Latest Album". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  38. ^ Maicki, Sal (April 1, 2016). "Here Are All the Changes Made to Kanye West's "The Life of Pablo" So Far". Complex. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  39. ^ Sacher, Andrew (May 4, 2016). "Flume releasing guest-filled album, touring, playing Forest Hills Stadium". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  40. ^ Geslani, Michelle (May 28, 2016). "Stream: Joey Purp's new mixtape iiiDrops". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  41. ^ Ash, Jourdan (March 21, 2016). "Kaytranada's Debut Album '99.9%' to Feature Anderson .Paak and More". Respect. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  42. ^ Hernandez, Victoria (September 29, 2016). "Stream "The Birth Of A Nation" Album Featuring Meek Mill, The Game, Nas, Lil Wayne & Gucci Mane". HipHopDX. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  43. ^ Cortez, Kevin (December 13, 2016). "Injury Reserve Releases Desolate Single, "Keep On Slippin'," With Vic Mensa". Mass Appeal. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  44. ^ White, Caitlin (October 17, 2016). "Liz Y2K Goes Full Space Brat On Her New Mixtape And Accompanying Nicopanda Fashion Editorial". Uproxx. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  45. ^ Stroud, Pryor (January 31, 2017). "Erik Hassle: Innocence Lost". PopMatters. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  46. ^ "mtvU Announces '2015 mtvU Woodie Awards' Nominees". tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]