Published Aug 04, 2015Chicago hip-hop oddball Vic Mensa has opened up about Roc Nation, Kanye West and Oasis' Gallagher brothers in a new interview with The Guardian.
Interviewed before a surprise set at last month's Pitchfork Music Festival in his hometown, the 22-year-old was sporting a new Roc Nation tattoo on his neck, honouring the recent deal he has now literally inked with Jay Z's management company.
"I wasn't looking to get signed," he told the UK publication. "I'd been doing my own thing, and making my own money; I wasn't built by a record label or the music industry, nor was I built by prominent artists that have given me co-signs."
Shrugging off the ever-present questions about Roc Nation' affiliation with the Illuminati, he makes it clear that he has every intention of maintaining his off-kilter style and creative control over his music, though.
"People come to me all the time with weird shit about the illuminati and the devil and shit because I'm signed to Roc Nation," he said. "But it's dope to me to be in a mainstream position, but to be so far from a mainstream person. I'm able to influence people who wouldn't normally give a thought to anything other than what they're force fed."
He continues to talk about his atypical (at least for hip-hop) musical influences like Guns'N'Roses, Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix, but can't deny the influence of his fellow Chicago rapper and now collaborator Kanye West. Earlier this year, he even jumped to the defence of Yeezy, following backlash about his headlining slot at Glastonbury — a backlash that Mensa undoubtedly views as racially motivated.
Following comments made by former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher about West's spot on the bill, Mensa angrily tweeted about the UK rock icon.
"I had a little thing where I said: 'Fuck one of the Gallagher brothers' on Twitter, and I was getting posted on blogs for 'starting a beef' or something," he told The Guardian. "I mean, whatever. Those guys are legends, but also dickheads. Ultimate dickheads. I saw they were mad Kanye played Glastonbury. They were mad when Jay Z played too. Feels very racist to me."
And although he paid respect to Oasis' old work, he argues that no one is doing rock'n'roll better than West right now.
"They're gonna say: 'No it's not about race, it's about guitar music, it's about rock'n'roll', but I mean like, how many people do you feel are carrying the spirit of rock'n'roll in 2015? Would you not say that Yeezus, and a song like 'Black Skinhead,' is carrying the spirit of rock'n'roll? I can't understand how that's not fucking rock'n'roll."
You can read the full feature article over here, and see Mensa's upcoming North American tour dates here.