INTERVIEW: Vic Mensa Tells Us About His 'The Manuscript' EP & New Album

By Isha Thorpe

June 15, 2017

Since he’s graced the 2014 XXL cover, Vic Mensa has been on our radar. Now, the Chicago rapper is continuing to show us why he’s the truth by releasing dope, brand new music.

The Roc Nation artist has never been afraid to speak his unfiltered thoughts in his music. He’s always had an opinion, while being a talented lyricist, and that’s one of the major reasons why we’ve respected him so much. Many seem hesitant or nervous about telling their truth in their music. But, Vic proudly expresses strong, thought-provoking lyrics that make you not only hear his words as clearly as possible, but feel them, too.

From Innanetape and There’s Alot Going On, Vic has blessed us with some of the realest music from the youths' perspectives and we stay ready for more. That’s why we jumped at the chance to speak to the Chi-Town MC about his new music. He’s recently dropped his EP, The Manuscript, which he calls “a capsule.” Vic is also readying the release of his upcoming album. 

iHeartRadio spoke to the rapper about his new bodies of work and more. Check out the interview below!

What's the main theme of The Manuscript?

Our music that is on The Manuscript is music I made while I was writing my album, which is coming out this summer. The release date is going to be released ASAP. So, it's just basically all music that means something to me. It has an important place in my life and in my story.

Did you feel like you had a lot to get off your chest with this project?

I always got a lot to get off my chest. That's just me as a person. But, I think that this music in comparison to maybe other music that I've done, it's not as overtly political. It's more personal. And through that you can gather my opinions and my world views.

You have a single out called “OMG” with Pusha T and Pharrell produced it. How was it working with them?

Awesome. I've been a Pharrell fan since I was a kid. Pharrell was the person that made me feel like I could fit in being a skateboarder in a black neighborhood, you know? So, I told Pharrell that. I said, he was one of my biggest and earliest inspirations because I was the only kid skating on the south side. So, just that energy that he brought in when people like Lupe came, that was like a big inspiration to me. So, it was dope getting in the studio.

Were you also in the studio with Push, too?

No, I actually just bumped into Push. We were both performing somewhere and so, we linked up like that.

Are there any other features on The Manuscript?

Yeah, Mr. Hudson is on the record that he produced. That's it for features. Mike Dean, that's in production; 1500 or Nothin', that's in production.

What messages do each of the four songs on The Manuscript have?

It's not all message-based. It's about me and [my] experiences. The song with Mr. Hudson is called ‘Almost There.’ It's kind of like a time capsule, telling you where I’ve been at, while this album's about to release and what my mindset has been like. This song called ‘Rolling Like A Stoner,’ it's about an energy. It's about angst. And there's a song called ‘Rage,’ which is about a lot of things. It's not one message, you know?

So, does your upcoming album have a separate theme or vibe from The Manuscript?

It's all a part of one energy. The album is a very continuous, kind of like a linear story, though. It's really narrative-based. The main thing about it is storytelling. And the music on the capsule is a little bit more varied. It's less verbatim of a story. But, that is the thread of the album. It's a sequence of events that all kind of interplay.

How do you want your fans to feel when they hear your new music?

I want my fans to feel excited. I want them to feel like, ‘Oh s**t! There it goes, real music because that's not what's going on these days. That’s what this album is. That's what all this music is.

Listen to Vic Mensa's The Manuscript below. 

Photos: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio

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