Vic Mensa Talks Debut Album, Weezer Collaboration, and What He's Learned from Jay Z and Kanye West

“I learn things from Kanye constantly,” he said. “The way that [his] mind works is a constant synopsis of different avenues that all run simultaneously."

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Complex Original

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Chicago rapper Vic Mensa is currently hard at work trying to put the finishing touches on his debut album Traffic, but took some time out to give a status update to Clash. Amongst the more notable details Mensa dropped about the new album were some of the big name producers he's enlisted to help him like Mike Dean, John Hill and Dave Sitek of the indie rock band TV On The Radio, as well as a surprising collaboration with Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo.

Apparently, Mensa cooked up a track that sampled the bridge from that band's song "The Good Life" off of its critically acclaimed sophomore album Pinkerton and eventually decided to show it off to Cuomo who was so taken by it that he contributed a whole new set of lyrics at the end. Of course, this isn't the first time that Cuomo has dipped his toe into the rap world, having linked up with Lil Wayne for the much-maligned song "Can't Stop Partying" in 2009.

Later in the interview, Mensa talked about the lessons's he's learned along the way from two of hip-hop's biggest names: Jay Z and Kanye West.

“I learn things from Kanye constantly. The way that Kanye’s mind works is a constant synopsis of different avenues that all run simultaneously. He’s always thinking about so many things, which is why he’s able to combine so many topics and sounds into one completely unique piece of music in every song that he makes. From Jay I’ve learned that there is a time for everything. I’ve had things that in the heat of the moment I felt like I wanted to do right now, and Jay is such a big picture person that he’s taught me timing is everything.”

He also detailed a bizarre, but interesting story about hanging out with Puff Daddy and listening to D'Angleo and the Vanguard's latest album Black Messiah

He had one of his people bringing us so many shots of DeLéon Tequila. And he had this crazy candy room in his house—we were going through these gigantic gumball machines. He had a bag of joints rolled up, like a gallon ziplock bag of joints rolled up. I was just faded as f--k in Diddy’s house and I raced him down his hallway. Diddy is one of the most turnt up, but also incredibly intelligent, knowledgeable, insightful, powerful and inspiring people I’ve met. It was a stunt for me just because I come from being a huge student of this game. I was racing Diddy down his hallway—I was kind of f--ked up, I think he might have beat me, which is crazy because I’m f--king fast as s--t. No, I beat Diddy in the race down his hallway. That’s what happened!

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