Vic Mensa No Longer Gets Nervous


[Editor’s note: In “Tweets Is Watching,” Phillip Mlynar asks artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.]

This evening (6/5), the Chicago-raised rapper Vic Mensa will be celebrating his 21st birthday by putting in an appearance at Just Blaze’s House Party shindig at Webster Hall. Having recently been crowned as one of this year’s XXL freshmen, Vic’s stock is on the rise — peep his appearances on Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap and his own INNANETAPE project for a primer on Mensa’s moves.

Ahead of his celebratory show, we tapped Vic Mensa to talk through his Twitter timeline about an upcoming dalliance with Nas, fans relieving themselves at his shows, and the ever-pressing Backstreet Boys versus ‘N Sync dilemma.

See also: The 2014 XXL Freshmen: A Statistical Analysis


How was recording the XXL freshmen cipher session?
It was dope, it was a lot of fun. I wasn’t nervous, I mean we taped it a lot of times so it wasn’t like a one and done type of thing. I didn’t really know what take was gonna end up being used. We had a lot of opportunities to do it so it wasn’t really a nerve-racking thing.

Did you start all your takes by pretending to be talking on the phone?
Nah, it was coincidental that was on there because I only did that like one time. There was so many times we did it — we must have taped it like 20 times in a row — and I was trying to do something different.

You rap that you were getting head when you found out you were gonna be an XXL freshman. Was that true?

Ha ha, no, no I wasn’t. [Pauses] I can’t speak on that.

You also mentioned an upcoming show with Nas.
Yeah, this is for an after-party at the House of Blues where I’ll be opening for Nas. I’m excited about that. I think that there’s a level of nerves that exists with performing but to me at this point I’ve done it so many times that it’s really an adrenaline thing. It’s not me getting up there and worrying like if I’m gonna fuck it up — it’s more just being bouncy and ready to do my thing.

What’s the last thing you usually do just before you take to the stage at a show?
I do a prayer. We do a prayer together — not like to a tour god or something but it’s about being appreciative that I get to do what I love. So I sit by myself for a second or walk around and pace back and forth for a minute.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd at one of your shows?
Well one time I had a show back in the day at a big theater and a girl peed on the floor. It was a sold-out show and a girl in the front row just straight-up peed on the floor. Everyone else around her jumped back and moved away — it was like a pee circle.

Did the peeing put you off your performance?
Nah, I think I just kinda shouted her out!

Finally, why are you a bigger fan of the Backstreet Boys than ‘N Sync?
Well at this point I don’t really remember either of the groups’ music but I definitely preferred Backstreet when I was a kid. I was more kinda saying that because of my dyed hair people are always sending my photos of ‘N Sync, so I was mentioning that I was more of a Backstreet Boys fan.

If you had to pick one Backstreet Boys song to perform at karaoke, what would it be?
I think “Everybody.” That’s the one.

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