Right now, if you told me who'd I take performing with Kanye West, between Big Sean and Vic Mensa -- I'm taking Mensa.
To my estimation, West and Mensa already have two of the best songs in hip-hop, in 2015. I feel in-love with "Wolves" when West, Mensa and Sia performed it on the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live. It was also one of the best live performances this year.
Then the other song West and Mensa released earlier this month, "U Mad", was an instant like for me. Sometimes it takes time for me to like a new song, but when I first heard it on Pandora I wanted to hear it over and over again. And the video for the song is even better.
And every new song Kanye puts out, I instantly like it.
I haven't heard of Mensa until this year and I know he's already has a big following for a couple of years now -- but I think "U Mad" has really bloomed his talents. I know some of his fans might think his earlier work, like "Down On My Luck" which was a big hit for him last year, already showed his talents, but I think "U Mad" has shown how electric Mensa is.
I always say, a great rapper to me is define by how well you can understand his-or-her lyrics, without trying to hear it. If you're trying understand what that rapper's saying, he-or-she is not that great. With Mensa his words are clear and understandable, and the lyrics he spits in "U Mad" are what the average 20-to-30 year old male likes, says and does and would like to say, Mensa becomes an instant favorite.
The "Down On My Luck" video showed how Mensa can add comedy to his repertoire and that's a great thing to have. You need to show your goofy side sometimes in hip-hop videos; all the great rappers have had funny videos -- like Tupac's "I Get Around" video, or Jay-Z's "I Just Wanna Love You" and Eminem and Outkast have made millions out of funny videos/songs. But Eminem and Outkast were great -- that's why they could act like fool and get away with it.
Mensa's got a lot of character in him. That's what you'd like to see in this bleak hip-hop era we're in. Every rapper from Big Sean to Drake -- who are talented -- have been very bland. Drake, who I like a lot: it feels like every album/song he releases now, sound all the same.
So far, Mensa has looked good in the main stream. Let's see if he can make big impact.