Vic Mensa Is Not Biting His Tongue In 2016 (Or Ever)
Vic Mensa has given rap its very own flower child, bearing an undeniably punk attitude.
With a demeanor so unique, it’s no surprise Kanye has taken him under his wing, and even the fashion world has become quickly fascinated with what Mensa has to say. 2016 has already been big for the 22-year-old; his second collaboration with Kanye (and first with pop-mogul Sia) “Wolves” teased the most anticipated album of the year, to then provide the soundtrack to Alexander Wang’s very own punk-luxe runway show with his new single, “Danger,” there’s no saying what the rest of the year will hold for a rebel with more than just a cause.
We spoke with Vic Mensa about his fashion week debut, why girls have no chill when it comes to Snapchat, and why he will most certainly never bite his tongue.
Coming from the Chicago art and rap scene, how do you think it’s changed today from the time that you were growing up in it?
I would say the Chicago rap scene is just waiting on its next breakout artist, there are a lot of really dope kids spitting going through some of the same stepping stones we did, and I’m excited to see what they come with.
You got to work with Kanye and Sia on the most anticipated album yet, but working with Kanye is not new for you. Can you tell us about your experience working with Ye?
Yea I’ve learned a lot from working with Ye, just about having control. Kanye has so much control and input over everything that happens in his world, it’s just inspiring as creator who cares about all facets of my art.
How do you think you’ve grown as an artist from Innanetape in 2013 to Traffic in 2015?
I’ve been through so much, and this new album is really just touching on everything personal to me and describing it vividly and what it means to me.
One of the coolest moments at NYFW this season was Alexander Wang using ‘Danger’ at his runway show. How did this come about? How did you feel hearing your music at one of the biggest runway shows?
It was super spur of the moment, I missed my flight home after the first night I was there for the Yeezy show, so I stuck around and did some more cool shit,mainly connecting with Wang and sitting at his show and playing new music. I had literally just made the song and thought it was be fresh for his runway show so I asked him and he was down. It was overall a very dope day.
Are fashion and music necessary to each other? Do you think the art worlds are starting to bridge and co-create more so now than ever?
Fashion and music are undoubtedly symbiotic. I’ve been reading a lot about The Clash & The Sex Pistols, and their managers Bernard Rhodes and Malcolm McLaren being so instrumental in crafting their images and kick starting an entire subculture movement. I don’t know if the worlds are starting to bridge more than ever, but I think it’s fresh how many fashion houses are using musicians for campaigns etc.
If you want the world to know one thing about you, what would it be?
That I will never bite my tongue.
People know you’re pretty passionate about a couple causes, What’s one thing people need to stop doing (or start doing) in 2016?
Voting, voting, voting. In 2016 we need a mass movement of young people and minorities exercising their right to vote. Whoever you vote for, just let your voice be heard and don’t waste your rights as an American.
Let’s talk dating. What’s a quality you absolutely look for in a girl?
Intuition. To be able to relate to and understand things that may not be spelled out in black and white to her. Being with me you have to be able to make sense of the complexities of my life, so I’m impressed with a woman who can do that without too much explaining.
Being only 22, what’s the most annoying thing about dating when you’re young and in the industry? The best thing?
I guess what’s most difficult about being in a relationship in my position is just the conflict of lifestyle being with someone pursuing different things in life. I try to stay pretty much out of “the industry” as much as I can. The best thing for me is the depth of my relationship, and the genuine, meaningful foundation it’s built on.
What’s one thing girls have “no chill” about?
Snapchat. People are always sneaking trying to put me in their snapchat, I’m not down with the espionage.
Do you want to get married one day?
I’d like to get married one day, I imagine. If I make it that far. I don’t often think of my life in that extensive sense, I feel so young and in the moment and who knows what 40 will feel like, or if it will exist.
What’s next for you, music or art-wise? Anything in the works you want to give us a heads up about that we should look out for?
I’ll just say look-out for two projects from me this year and a lot of dope fucking music.
Photography by Jake Osmun