Despite being named an XXL Freshman in 2014, signing with Roc Nation in 2015, and collaborating with Kanye West multiple times in the past two years, Vic Mensa still can’t seem to get a debut album out. The Chicago-based, SaveMoney-affiliated rapper hasn’t dropped a full-length project since 2013’s acclaimed Innanetape, but today we’ve received part one of the next-best thing, a two-part EP.
The Manuscript, as it’s called, follows up last year’s political EP There’s Alot Going On, and the first half features four new tracks. The most noteworthy one (aside from an intro track that’s worth mentioning because it contains the first feature in years from erstwhile G.O.O.D. Music singer Mr. Hudson) is “OMG,” a track that casts Vic as a stand-in for Malice in a reboot of the Clipse. Okay, there’s obviously no plans to reunite the legendary Virginia Beach duo, but Pusha T’s here, and Pharrell’s back to scraping grisly beats off of his grimy, well-worn stovetop, so forgive us if we’re a little overexcited.
For the beat, Skateboard P revisits the distorted electric guitar keyboard preset he used on such classics as “Dirty Money” and pairs it with a skittering, off-kilter beat and a robotic vocal sample that’s the source of the song’s title. You’d think King Push would be better-equipped to attack this rare type of beat better than anyone else in hip-hop, but somewhat surprisingly, his one verse fails to hold up to Vic’s two. Between “Vic in Chicago it's Hugh Heff in the grotto” and “I'm still in the hood, tell Zimmerman shoot,” the kid’s rattles off some impressive bars.
You can stream the rest of The Manuscript (part one) over on Spotify. We don’t yet have a release date for the second half, but with rumored guest appearances from Chief Keef, Rivers Cuomo (?!), Joey Purp, and The-Dream, it could be even better than the first.