Vic Mensa: From Southside Chicago To Signing With Roc Nation (VIDEO)

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"Music to me doesn't have lines... It's all emotion." - Vic Mensa

What a difference time makes. For Chicago native Vic Mensa, his recent signing to powerhouse music management company Roc Nation is as much humbling as it is an example of perseverance. In fact, for a 22-year-old with the now-classic Roc-A-Fella Records logo tattooed on his neck, you could say it was predestined. "The first time I ever met Jay, actually, it was really brief," Vic Mensa fondly recalls in his interview with Los Angeles radio station Power 106. "It was the day after he went to the Met Gala, the day after he was in the elevator with Solange. Jay is just one of the smartest people I ever met in general. Especially in music."

Between a feature verse on transcendental hip-hop artist and fellow Chi-Town native Kanye West's song "Wolves," a performance at the Coachella Music Festival, and now signing to Roc Nation, to say Vic's been busy would be a bit of an understatement.

As an artist helping to carry the torch of a recent Chicago hip-hop resurgence in which he's joined by fellow lyrical wizards Chance the Rapper and Mick Jenkins, Vic is mindful of the work ahead of him. With an upbeat attitude though, he is more than excited about all of the great things coming his way and is quick to note that many more are to follow."I'm working on an upcoming project, Traffic, coming soon, stories of my life, some of my personal moments...That's everything that I'm focused on."

His affinity for the Windy City and some of its legendary hip-hop talents is also abundantly clear. "Kanye, Twista, Do or Die and Lupe... Kanye, Lupe, Do or Die, Twista. I feel like Kanye and Lupe coming out, like, around the time when I was 11 years old, that meant the world to what I'm doing now, to showing that possibility existed. Being somebody that had an understanding of the hood, but saw past that in creating something that appealed to people universally."