In an exclusive and revealing interview, Rain sits down with Vic Mensa, a name that resonates deeply in the world of music and culture. Vic, known for his fearless approach to art and his ability to weave complex narratives through his music, has recently released his new album ‘Victor.’
This album is a testament to his growth as an artist and a person, embodying themes of redemption, resilience, and introspection. It’s a journey through Vic’s experiences, channeling his struggles, triumphs, and the profound impact of his upbringing in Chicago. As we delve into this conversation, Vic opens up about ‘Victor,’ his creative process, and the influences that shape his unique voice in the industry.
Photography by Colt Grice, styling by Star Burleigh. Executive Producer Kateel Clark, production by Sonadora Studio, set dressing by Brian Andrew Marquez, lighting by Whalen Productions, digital tech: Garretts, post-production by Rianon Vran, special thanks to Apex Photo Studios.
Finding Inspiration in Chicago
Rain: How’s Chicago looking?
It’s raining hard right now.
The city has always been a big part of your music.
Chicago is a complex, layered city. It’s got a history of music, culture, and politics but also struggles with violence and self-hatred. I talk about this in my new album, ‘Victor,’ especially in ‘South Side Story.’
The Journey to ‘Victor’
Your latest release, ‘Victor,’ seems deeply personal.
Yeah, the album reflects my journey. It’s about redemption, mental health, and my belief in overcoming struggles. I’ve always believed that I’d emerge victorious, hence the album name. It’s a very introspective work, digging into my experiences as a man and an artist, exploring themes of faith, sobriety, and Pan-Africanism.
Collaborations and Artistic Expression
Tell us about your collaborations in this album.
I’ve worked with Thundercat and Jay Electronica. They’re artists I deeply respect. Collaborating with friends and those who inspire me is what I enjoy. These collaborations brought diverse musical styles and perspectives, enriching the album’s depth.
And your album cover is quite striking.
Terron Cooper Soros, an amazing Chicago artist, painted it. It represents my rebirth, drawing from the legend of Osiris.
Fashion as an Artistic Extension
With it being fashion week, what’s your take on fashion right now?
Fashion is an extension of my personality. I’ve always liked designing clothes. I’m drawn to asymmetrical, wearable designs. Vivian Westwood’s work is brilliant, though not always practical. Fashion is a way to express where my head’s at and a reflection of my identity.
The Power of Fine Art
How does fine art influence you?
Fine art is liberating. It breaks the rigid conventions of hip-hop. It allows me to explore broader philosophical concepts artistically. I’m curating a show that blends different artistic expressions, showcasing how art transcends traditional mediums. It’s a new challenge and an extension of my creative journey.
That sounds incredible. Art curation can be challenging.
Yeah, it’s a new challenge. I’m excited to blend different artistic expressions and perspectives. It’s about pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons.
Reflecting on Life in Chicago
Does returning to the South Side of Chicago give you clarity?
It’s a sobering reminder of the pain and struggles here. The disparities in life experiences across Chicago are stark. It’s a push and pull between different worlds. Chicago’s complexity is a key part of my music and worldview.
Thanks for this chat, Vic. It’s been enlightening.
Appreciate it, man. Thanks for having me.