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Friday, December 15

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« Death From Above 1979 Came Down on the Riviera Pulling Strings: For Classical Music in Chicago, You Got a Guy - December 2014 »

Hip Hop Mon Dec 01 2014

Vic Mensa Rocks the Metro (Nov. 28)

vic_mensa.jpg

I saw Chance the Rapper at the Riv at year. I think it was either the day before or the day after Thanksgiving. It was a sold out show, shortly after Acid Rap had come out and he was excellent. It was the performance of an emergence. As Chance juked around stage under the bright lights, rapping along with thousands of fans, you felt that something was happening. Coincidentally, this performance was the first time I saw Vic Mensa and the last time I saw DJ Rashad before he passed away.

Let me clarify. I'd seen Mensa once or twice before as the lead singer for Kids These Days and I'd heard his then recently released Innanetape mixtape, but watching Mensa cameo during "Cocoa Butter Kisses" during Chance's homecoming set was my first glimpse of seeing him as a solo artist. Fast forward almost exactly a year later. After touring around the world and releasing a series of singles, Vic Mensa returned to Chicago for a sold out homecoming show at the Metro, also during Thanksgiving.

On stage wearing a bright red leather jacket reminiscent of Michael Jackson's video for "Thriller", Mensa appeared full of confidence, pivoting from the psychedelia of "Orange Soda" to the bravado of "Wimmie Nah" to the classic Haddaway "What is Love"-inspired vocal house stylings of "Down on My Luck" with relative ease. Augmented by a guitarist, a DJ, visuals of the Jordan era 90's Chicago Bulls, and a literal ton of confetti, Mensa lead the crowd to an almost riotous state during songs like "YNSP" while his take on The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" took on an somewhat EDM aesthetic with flourishes of juke and jungle while still staying true of his minimalist rock origins. At some point during the night, Chance the Rapper made a surprise guest appearance to rap along Mensa as the duo performed the b-side, "Suitcases."

A large portion of Mensa's set was dedicated to testing out new music from his upcoming EP, "Street Lights." "I Ain't Trippin" appears to be the follow up to "Down on My Luck," an unapologetic attempt to enter the mainstream conversation and Top 40 that works because its such a fun well crafted pop song.

Mensa ended his set with the crowd pleaser, "Feel That." With the entire building seemingly shaking from the impact of the omnipresent bass, Mensa stage dived into the crowd full of fervent believers as the Savemoney crew danced on stage sharing this moment of glory he's worked so hard to achieve.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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