Photo By: Bryan Lamb
It’s ten o’clock at night in late March and I’m fighting sleep. Sitting almost horizontal on a massive, black leather couch as my photographer, Bryan Lamb, and I watch Chance the Rapper racing back and forth from the booth behind us to the computer in front of us, occasionally taking frantic puffs from his cigarette.
His counterpart, Vic Mensa, lounges on a couch nearby, staring intently at a Macbook perched carefully on his lap, analyzing the first cut of the video for “DiditB4”, the lead single off his September 30 release, Innanetape directed by fellow Savemoney member Austin Vesely. The pre-rendered cuts are too quick for the computer and the screen stops on a scene of Mensa, in a white coat and goggles, holding a cow brain. “That shit was too raw, Austin drove to some farm to get it,” said Mensa.
By now, you’ve most likely heard of Chancellor Bennett, the 20-year-old artist who turned a ten-day suspension from high school into a pair of nationally-recognized mixtapes. You also likely have heard of Vic Mensa, the 20-year-old former front-man of the now-defunct Kids These Days who announced via an XXL interview in April that the band was done.
Together, the pair make up the leadership team of “Savemoney”-an eclectic collective of young artists, musicians, students and more based in Chicago that have helped elevate the city to the top of hip hop’s collective consciousness. That rise was aided heavily by Chance’s April release, Acid Rap. Mensa’s Innanetape is poised to blow the roof off the Chicago scene.