His hometown: Chicago (Hyde Park, to be more specific).
His crew: He’s part of the SAVEMONEY collective with Chance the Rapper and just last month signed with Jay Z’s ROC Nation after already inking a European deal with London’s Virgin/EMI.
His story: Only 22, the son of a Ghanian professor earned a hometown buzz with his teen band Kids These Days and even wound up recording with Wilco rocker Jeff Tweedy. He got his own name out there on his buddy Chance’s acclaimed record “Acid Rap” and then turned in a guest spot alongside Sia on Kanye West’s recent single, “Wolves,” which led to a high-profile appearance on “Saturday Night Live’s” 40th anniversary special.
His music: So far, Mensa’s output has been relatively slim, with only the 2013 mixtape “Innanetape” and two singles with Virgin, “Down on My Luck” and “U Mad.” The former features a Pharrell-like upbeat groove and catchy hook that helped it cracked the top 40 on the U.K. singles chart. The latter is a harder-edged fist-pumper featuring verses from Kanye. Mensa’s debut album “Trouble” should be out by the end of the year.
[Vic Mensa peforms Sunday at the Soundset hip-hop festival outside Canterbury Park in Shakopee. The day's schedule won't be announced until that morning. Tickets and more info on the eighth annual event are available via SoundsetFestival.com.]