signs Ghanaian musician Vic Mensah
April 28, 2015 -
21-year-old Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, whose real name is Victor
Kwesi Mensah, has officially signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation Records.
The announcement was made on Twitter last Tuesday and at a ceremony
streamed exclusively on TIDAL. His single with Kanye West, titled “U
Mad”, was released on Roc Nation Monday as a single.
Mensa, a founding member of the Chicago hip-hop collective
SAVEMONEY, has been a hot new name among fans and critics, notably
after his recent work alongside West.
He was also featured in the So Help Me God track “Wolves” alongside
Sia, which was premiered by the three of them during New York
Fashion Week. He later performed the collaboration live on Saturday
In a tweet confirming the announcement, Mensa rubbished any rumour
that he might leave the SAVEMONEY crew as he has signed a major
label deal. With the announcement broadcasted on TIDAL, fingers are
crossed to see if Jay Z would include clauses in Vic’s deal to
provide exclusives for the service or at least be active in
promoting it. This would help bring a fresh face to the service that
many fans could relate to instead of trying to have millionaire
artists get paid a little more.
Vic Mensa has not released a full-length album since his
independently released 2010 effort, ‘Straight Up’. He released a
well-received mixtape in 2013—INNANETAPE—that helped put the Chicago
rapper on the map.
The signing could be an indication that beyond the various Kanye
West collaborations, Mensa is prepping a major label full-length
release. With access to the Roc Nation’s resources and producing
talent, the new material coming from Mensa should be superior if he
is able to approach it unhindered.
Mensa was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Ghanaian father and a
White mother. His mother, Betsy Mensah, works in the Chicago Public
Schools system and his father, Edward Mensah, is an Economics
professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Mensa recalls rock
and roll, especially The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, as
some of his earliest music memories.
It was not until fifth grade that Mensa started to take a liking to
rap and hip-hop music. Mensa was a good student who attended the
Whitney Young Magnet High School. His music career has taken him