Most 20 year olds are still contemplating what they want to do with their lives, but Chicago rapper Vic Mensa is far from simply figuring things out. Already having released a mixtape at 16 and an album at 19, Vic’s musical journey is only beginning.

Both in his taste for music and in his own collection of music, Vic doesn’t stick to one genre category. The sounds behind Innanetape, the rapper’s second project, were inspired by artists of all genres, from rock band Rage Against the Machine to hip-hop duo Outkast.

Over the phone, aside from a hint of fatigue, Vic’s voice is packed with a genuine craving for music and creating positivity, even from negative situations. His passion for the SAVEMONEY lifestyle and building youth empowerment through SAVEMONEY is admirable.

Vic goes deeper into the meaning of songs off Innanetape, how he feels about being compared to his homie Chance the Rapper and why he believes he’s the best to out of Chicago right now.

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IF YOU KNEW THE WORLD WAS GOING TO END TOMORROW, LIKE IN “HOLY HOLY”, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND YOUR LAST NIGHT? I’m torn between wanting to say that I would just get f*cked up out of my mind and take it out like that or I’d like to be with the people that mean the most to me doing what I love to do. I would want to make an ill ass song for my last moment – that would be a good feeling.

WOULD YOU BE CONTENT WITH YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS? Naw, I’d be salty. If the world ended tomorrow I’d be hella salty. I was tryna take off and I ain’t get my chance.

WHY DID YOU INCLUDE THE MOMENT OF REALIZATION, AFTER LOOKING AT THE SUN, ON THE INTERLUDE OF “FUN”? I think that that message was representative of the Innanetape’s music and where I was and the conception of it — a lot of happy music that was coming from not the happiest of places or times in my life. The music itself was a constant reminder that I do this shit for fun. It contributed to the album in its entirety, as a collection of songs, ideas and painting a portrait of myself. I think that helped to contextualize it.

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ARE YOU STAYING TRUE TO SAVEMONEY AND SAVING MONEY? Always… This term and lifestyle that I coined is not just about frugality and being cheap. It’s about being reasonable. But I started SAVEMONEY as a kid towards saving allowances and stealing jeans and selling sneakers to get fly, but more than anything, to elevate my possibilities. To elevate what I could do from what was given to me. To make something out of something that didn’t exist previously.

WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHANCE LIKE? That’s my brother. I’m going to fuck with him for a show in Vegas tomorrow.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING COMPARED TO HIM? It’s gonna slow down ’cause my new shit is coming.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU FIT INTO THE CHICAGO HIP-HOP SCENE? Time will tell and show I’m a staple of it. In my opinion, I’m the best out of it. I’m one of the most creative. I’m the best in the Chicago hip-hop scene.

DO YOU FEEL ANY PRESSURE FROM THE INDUSTRY? Pressure every day. At the end of the day it’s just about comfortability. Get comfortable to do what I do.

WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE FROM CHICAGO, IF ANYONE? Kanye’s the most relatable rapper. Probably ever. And definitely the best rapper/producer. Not just a rapper, but a modern day renaissance man, which is what I want to be myself.

Words By. Faduma Mohamed