Our Picks For The JMBLYA Hip-hop Fest In New Braunfels

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Vic Mensa

Chicago upstart Vic Mensa, a top act to watch at New Braunfels hip-hop fest JMBLYA, will show off his collabs with Kanye. - COURTESY
Courtesy
Chicago upstart Vic Mensa, a top act to watch at New Braunfels hip-hop fest JMBLYA, will show off his collabs with Kanye.

In a Chicago scene stacked with upstarts ranging from the heartless drill of Chief Keef to the acid hip-hop of Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa seems intent to pull from all sides. Like his tutor Kanye West, the rapper/singer traffics in all manner of styles: club ready EDM, street tested trapbeats, a bit of future-sound R&B. Best of all, he's a complete cut-up, dropping odes to orange soda (including a Kenan and Kel sample), using his phone as a prop in a much hyped XXL cypher like a dweeb and letting himself get arrested, roofied and hit by a truck in the excellent video to "Down on My Luck."

All of this combined to make 2013's INNANETAPE one of that year's must-have mixtapes.

He's also been gifted with the coveted Kanye bump, appearing alongside Yeezy and Sia on SNL. And, if Kanye ever drops that new record, Mensa sings on the lead-off track, "Wolves." His latest, the Kanye-featuring "U Mad," points towards a bigger, brasher sound, one which will hopefully come alive on the Whitewater stage.

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