ARTIST PROFILE

Vic Mensa

Name: Victor Kwesi Mensah

Birthday: June 6, 1993

Fav Dish: Tortellini

Victor Kwesi Mensah better known by his stage name Vic Mensa, is a Grammy-nominated American rapper from Chicago, Illinois.

He is currently signed to Roc Nation and was a member of the group Kids These Days, which broke up in May 2013, after which he released his first solo mixtape Innanetape. Mensa is also the 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.

Victor Kwesi Mensah’s father is from Ghana and his mother is white American. Vic grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. 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).

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. When announcing a tour for 2015, Mensa said that he has plans to collaborate with Albarn sometimes in the near future.

On September 18, 2013, it was announced, that Mensa would be joining J. Cole and Wale on the What Dreams May Come Tour.

Following the end of the tour, he toured Europe with Danny Brown, for the beginning of February 21, 2014, and ending March 8, 2014.

To cap off his rise to stardom, Mensa was chosen to be on the cover of XXL for the Freshman Class of 2014.  On May 12, 2014, his first official single “Down on My Luck” was serviced to urban contemporary radio in the United Kingdom. On the same day, the music video for the song was released. “Down on My Luck” was then released for digital download in international markets on June 6, 2014, by Virgin EMI Records.

It was released as his first single from his debut EP, titled Street Lights.

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 Originalsshowcase.

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.

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”.

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.

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 Humanz, although this was ultimately discarded from the group’s album.

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.

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

He has performed as the opening act during Justin Bieber’s Purpose World Tour in Europe.

On July 28, 2017, Mensa will release his debut album, The Autobiography, on Roc Nation.

Mensa cites hip hop artists such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Earl Sweatshirt, A Tribe Calledn 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.

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