Looking Back: Vic Mensa’s Innanetape

Let’s take it back a couple of years before Vic Mensa was signed to Roc Nation. In 2013 he was just a 19-year-old Chicago kid trying to make it as a solo artist, following the success of his band, Kids These Days.

In May of 2013, Kids These Days (Vic’s band) decided to call it quits after their largest performance at Coachella. That didn’t stop the young creative and passionate Vic Mensa from pursuing his dreams. Not taking any time off, four months later, Vic returns with new sounds, flows, and tongue-twisting lyrics as he blesses the world’s ears with his mixtape, Innanetape, which hit late September of 2013. This was a time in history when the Chicago music scene drastically began making its shift away from the drill scene, to what you can consider a more conscious scene, with the rise in artists such as Vic, Chance, Saba, Mick Jenkins, and many others. The wide musical background had really helped elevate Vic’s career at the time, as he says, “As an artist, I try not to sound the same as others. Or even as myself. It’s a constant, flowing web of influence,” he explained to Interview Magazine.

At one point there was a wide scope of people who only saw Vic as Chance The Rapper’s friend. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Vic proved to the people he was much more than just that. It was those who really listened to the tape who knew that he had something special. The way he worked with the main producers on the tape, Cam O’bi and Peter Cottontale creating a variety of sounds, helped push Vic’s presence nationwide, even landing him a spot on Rolling Stone’s 10 Best Mixtapes of 2013 list. During this time, Vic became a bidding war between labels, after songs like Down On My Luck, Orange Soda, Tweakin, and Hollywood LA blew up. Creating such a unique and eloquent sound, two years later he found himself alongside some of the best with his signing to Roc Nation. 

The tape’s diversity reflects on Chicago’s diversity, that’s why the timing of the tape was so right. He’s a person who repped his hood in the best way by proving that you don’t have to follow rules in order to make something great. With the success of the tape, he’s able to do bigger and better things, not just for himself, but for his city. He’s done free concerts, free meet & greets, tons of charity events, and so much more. When asked by XXL Magazine about how it feels to give back to his community, he says, “It’s amazing to be able to do it and it’s not something I take lightly.”

Although Innanetape was just the beginning of Vic’s solo career, it still sits at the top as his best project to this date. As we continue heading through 2017, I can only hope for another classic project from Vic. 

Top three songs from Innanetape: Hollywood LA, Time Is Money, Magic. 

Written By: Serenathekid