7.27.2017

Exclusive: Vic Mensa Talks ‘The Autobiography,’ JAY-Z, & Chance the Rapper

One year in the making, Vic Mensa is ready to share The Autobiography with the world. On the eve of his debut album, the Chicago MC sat down with Rap-Up to discuss the deeply personal project, which he describes as his “blood, sweat, and tears.”

“It’s a human album,” he said, sitting down at Capitol Records’ landmark building in Hollywood. “It explores my humanity, mainly, and I leave that to the listener to make parallels to themselves. When I say that the album is my blood, sweat, and tears, and everything I’ve learned up to this point, it’s just because it literally is.”

The Autobiography was executive produced by No I.D. and JAY-Z, who signed Mensa to Roc Nation. “He was instrumental in helping me pick the records that were going to make it and some of the lyrical content,” he said, “and just helping me to mold the shape of the story to make sure that it pushes along and that it takes you on a journey.”

As a longtime fan, this was special for Mensa. “Before I ever met him, I felt like I knew him very well,” he said. “He really is the guy from his music, so I guess I did. I bought The Blueprint on CD…and was non-stop repeat listening to that on a Walkman. Hov’s music is a real representation of him.”

Jigga hailed Vic as a “once-in-a-lifetime” artist during a showcase in Los Angeles, which was also attended by Mrs. Carter. “Beyoncé is just a great person,” said Mensa. “Really kind, very smart, and very gracious.”

Long before rolling with the Carters, Vic was riding with Chance the Rapper, an MC that he met in high school. After Save Money collaborations, there seemed to be a fallout and last year, Mensa blacked Chano out of a photo that featured JAY and Bey. Rumors of a feud intensified.

Now, however, it looks like there’s peace between the longtime affiliates. Earlier this month, Chance posted a screenshot of his pre-order of The Autobiography on Instagram. “Me & Vic met at a high school open mic when we were 14,” he wrote. “We’ve been on this journey for along time. This is much bigger than a moment THIS IS MY BROTHERS DEBUT ALBUM. I’ve decided I’m waiting til it drops to listen. I’ve been through a lot with him but I want to hear it told in his words.”

Speaking with Rap-Up, Vic echoed those sentiments. “I talked to him a couple of days ago,” he said. “I saw him in Chicago not too long ago. I go back really, really far with Chance. We grew up together so I’m excited for him to hear this album because he was around for a lot of the things I talk about and it’s always interesting when somebody is in your life, but maybe doesn’t know the details, they just see flashes and maybe hear bits and pieces from other people. So, I’d be interested to hear his comments.”

When asked if a collaboration with Chance was in the cards, Vic assured fans. “Oh yeah, we gon’ do it,” he said.

Featuring Ty Dolla $ign (“We Could Be Free”), Pharrell and Saul Williams (“Wings”), Weezer (“Homewrecker”), The-Dream (“Heaven on Earth”), and Pusha T (“OMG”), The Autobiography drops at midnight.