Victor Kwesi Mensah, better known by his stage name Vic Mensa, is a hip-hop recording artist from Chicago, Illinois. He was born to an African father from Ghana and a Caucasian mother. His mother, Betsy Mensah, works in the Chicago Public Schools system, and father, Edward Mensah, is an economics professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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 Whitney Young Magnet High School but got caught up in shoplifting and dealing marijuana.
However, his musical aspirations cut short his days as a hustler. In July 2010, Mensa released his debut solo project titled Straight Up. "Straight Up," was released as a Ruby Hornet exclusive and has garnered significant buzz across the internet.
In 2013, following the break-up of the band Kids These Days, of which he was a member, Mensa announced that he would be pursuing a solo career. He then made an appearance on Chance the Rapper's “Acid Rap,” and announced plans to release a mixtape named INNANETAPE.
The mixtape features guest appearances by Ab-Soul, Thundercat, Chance The Rapper and Rockie Fresh. Production was handled by Boi-1da, DJ Dahi, Tae Beast, Hit-Boy, The Maven Boys, Michael Uzowuru, and Christian Rich among others.
The mixtape was downloaded over 35,000 times in the first month after its release. A few days after his second solo mixtape, it was announced that Mensa would be joining J. Cole and Wale on the What Dreams May Come Tour.
Following the end of the tour, he toured Europe with Danny Brown in 2014. To cap off his rise to stardom, Mensa was also chosen for the 2014 XXL freshman class. Mensa's debut full-length album, The Autobiography, was released on July 28, 2017, through Roc Nation.
The album featured guest appearances from Weezer, Syd, The-Dream, Chief Keef, Joey Purp, Pharrell Williams, Saul Williams, Ty Dolla Sign, and Pusha T. The Autobiography debuted at #27 on the US Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 15,000 copies.
Mensa is the founder of hip-hop collective Savemoney, which includes frequent collaborator Chance the Rapper. He is also an activist and philanthropist, having founded the SavemoneySavelife Foundation, which combats racism in America and funds programs in Chicago centered around health and the arts.
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