Chi-town rapper Vic Mensa recently sat down with Pigeons and Planes and gave an interesting interview that really allows visitors to understand the Chicago music scene for what it is. A lot of people credit the media to enhancing everyone’s fascination with the idea that Chicago drill music is violent and aggressive. However, Mensa responds “that’s exactly what the music is. It’s strictly murder music”.
Mensa is no doubt considered more alternative and in the likes of Chance the Rapper in the Chicago music scene in comparison to Lil Durk’s drill music. That doesn’t mean anything though when it comes to how well Mensa knows his city and what his fellow Chicago rappers experience. Read our favorite excerpts below.
In an interview with GQ, you said that “Chicago’s sound is of the heavens and the pavements.” Could you explain what you mean by that?
Growing up in Chicago gives you a real perspective. It’s not just the sugarcoated television reality of Los Angeles, and there’s no industry like there is in New York. People from New York talk about, “Back in the day we’d see 50 Cent come off the block in Queens or whatever.” It’s not like that in Chicago. You’re not seeing superstars. The things that people aspire to are just different. Chicago is the real deal.
There’s such a variety of hip hop coming out of Chicago. You’ve got the whole drill scene, then there’s you and Chance the Rapper, and your music is a bit different from drill music. There’s Mick Jenkins, another new face out of Chicago that’s isn’t making drill music. Do you sense any kind of divide in Chicago hip hop? Drill versus everything else?
Nah. Everybody’s just doing their thing, man. I’m on the XXL cover with Lil Durk and Lil Bibby. It’s Chicago over everything, it’s not a divide. At the end of the day, the niggas that’s really from Chicago—there’s a connection between all of us. There’s people that we know, and mutual experiences that we all share.
Talk a little about drill culture, and the violence that the press tries to pull out of that.
The press doesn’t try to pull it out—that’s exactly what the music is. It’s strictly murder music.
I don’t hear that violence in the music you’re making.
My music is rooted in my realities, and shit, I’ve never killed anybody. I’ve been a violent person at times, but it’s not like that’s my life. And that’s it, you know. But that’s a reality in Chicago, that’s a real thing. That’s how some niggas live, thats how some niggas pretend to live. At the end of the day, not everybody who’s making drill rap or talking about being with the shit, is really with the shit like that. It’s a lot of loud mouths—but there’s definitely guys from that scene that live that, and that’s their reality. At the end of the day that’s the reality of where a lot of people are from.
Read the full interview here.