Savemoney collective frontman and Chicago’s own Vic Mensa gave the world another track for your AUX cord parties, “I Been,” on Twitter earlier today. The track features an electro instrumental filled with grungy synths and pads, coupled with his direct, haphazard flow we’ve grown to know and love.
If you haven’t heard of Vic before, he literally took the Internet by storm with his 2013 mixtape, Innanetape, featuring a variety of fellow Chicago artists including Chance the Rapper and BJ the Chicago Kid, but also showed love to the West Coast with appearances from TDE’s underrated lyrical monster Ab-Soul and multi-talented Thundercat.
While in the early stages of his career, Mensa endured endless comparisons to his Gotenks counterpart Chance, but as of late the two have diverged in terms of their sound. The two haven’t released a track together since “Suitcase” and “Tweakin’,” but ties between them haven’t died down completely; earlier this year in May, Chance brought out both Vic Mensa and Kanye West at his Open Mike event. Catch some footage here.
As a recent Roc Nation signee, Mensa has entered the wing of modern visionaries including Kanye, Jay-Z and J. Cole just to name a few. If I had to guess a year ago where Mensa would sign to, Roc Nation would have been the top choice. Since inking his signature, he has collaborated with Kanye himself on the mosh pit-inducing rager “U Mad?” and electronic DJ Skrillex on “No Chill.” Following his latest mixtape from nearly two years ago (or two eons if you’re on the hip-hop calendar), Mensa has been undaunted by experimentation, always looking to push the envelope and jump in-and-out of his comfort zone.
Vic Mensa continues to grow and prosper, adding the finishing touches to his upcoming album, Traffic, while balancing his corresponding tour with fellow Savemoney member Towkio. While signing to a label brings an inevitable tension and uncertainty of said artist’s future, we can’t be too hasty to judge the “new” direction Mensa is taking quite yet. To all the listeners out there doubting the new Vic, wait till the album drops.
Peep the visuals for his scorching-hot single “U Mad?” below and grab tickets for his Traffic tour and shows to follow here.