Mensa’s comments were made in a new interview with Paper, where he spoke frankly about growing up in the Chi and what it was like witnessing the birth of the drill scene.
“The drill movement was always conflicting for me,” he said. “While I loved the artistic expression in the music, I also had a front-row seat to the real-life accompaniment to that music. Friends of mine were killed in the midst of drill rap beef and all that shit.”
Mensa continued by reflecting back on a 2017 interview he did with Complex’s Everyday Struggle, which Ak co-hosted at the time. During the interview, the pair got into a heated argument about Chicago rap and the drill movement.
“I wanted to slap you in your face honestly,” Vic said at one point in the interview. “I’m just seeing you here and this is a tame environment so I would keep it to my words, but I really felt as though people exactly like you sensationalized and made a following off of clowning situations that we go through in real life.”
He added: “I really think you a bitch because there’s a video that you put up about a person named Trey 57, making all these jokes like ‘Here’s another Chiraq savage, this guy’s stupid, he messed with the Grim Reaper.’ Like n-gga, this is not a video game. That’s a n-gga I grew up with I knew since I was five years old.”
The argument escalated from there, and Vic Mensa told Paper that his personal stake in the conversation is why things got so heated so quickly.
“That was why I got into it with Akademiks, because a kid that I grew up with and went to karate with when we were five years old ended up being a street n-gga, gang banging, et cetera,” he said. “He was also a very talented rapper. When he got killed, there was music involved, there were big drill artists involved, and I heard about it on Akademiks’ parasitic platform. So that’s why I was upset.”
Vic Mensa also spoke about Ghanaian drill music and said their take on the subgenre is actually very peaceful compared to the music emanating from other cities.
“It’s really astounding, man. It’s beautiful,” he said. “Their music largely reflects their realities, which are not the same as American drill realities. Ghana is a very peaceful place. People don’t get killed like that. There’s a lot of struggle though, so their music is rooted in struggle, but it’s not so much tied into real murders in the way that it is in America or even England.”
Vic Mensa has been spending a lot of time in Ghana recently, specifically in Accra, where organized the Black Star Line Festival alongside Chance The Rapper and spearheaded an initiative that provided clean drinking water to over 200,000 residents.
The Chicago rapper told TMZ Hip Hop that he grew emotional when he saw the living conditions in Accra, which included contaminated water, and partnered up with his father, who is Ghanian, to bring clean water to three villages.
As for new music, Vic Mensa released his latest single “Strawberry Louis Vuitton” in January, which features appearances from Thundercat and Maeta.