It's almost impossible to talk about Vic Mensa in any context without mentioning fellow Chicago-native and collaborator Chance the Rapper. Mensa and Chance mine similar aesthetics, often opting to deliver stream-of-consciousness verses over wonky jazz samples. Chance is one of rap's break-out stars in 2013, and his presence on a track like Mensa's "Tweakin" threatens to overshadow the MC at every turn.
But part of the reason Mensa's solo effort is getting this kind of pub is because he has the goods and he delivers here. Mensa stretches out on a lax churning beat that could've soundtracked a late-stage level of Megaman were it not for the frequent skipping. Mensa makes the most of it, hopscotching from "slapping a paraplegic with a pair of crutches" to "porkin the stork" with canyon-clearing jumps. The hook hardly holds together as he interrupts every line to deliver the frantic cry "I'm tweaaakin". Chance revs up with a string of "na na na's" and starts off conspiratorial "I think the Illuminati is real" and burning down "loony bins" in a warped act of Lloyd Dobler devotion. Like the hook he comes unraveled by the end and trails off, no longer able to trace the strings back to the start. At first listen it registers as lunacy from two hip-hop waifs, but Chance summarizes it perfectly "they say a smart man looks like a mad man to a dumb man."
Vic Mensa's Innanetape featuring: the aforementioned Chance the Rapper, Ab-Soul, Thundercat, and others can be downloaded here.