As hip hop collective SAVEMONEY begin to pick up steam with Chance The Rapper at the helm, best friend Vic Mensa is waiting to stake his claim as the next worthy heir to the Chicago legacy. Having built a fan base as front-man of former hip hop outfit Kids These Days, Mensa's recent solo work has been widely acclaimed and is beginning to get noticed outside of the US. Mensa combines beats and samples that long for early 90s recognition with an updated insight into today’s Chicago culture. Whether he is tapping into the darker sides of his art as on "Hollywood LA" – "Why do I kill everything I touch? Why do blood run so deep?" – or namedropping Nickelodeon’s finest on "Orange Soda", Mensa always stays true to what he sees as important, keeping SAVEMONEY and Chi-Town at the front of his mind and at the centre of his lyrics.
From freestyles with Asher Roth to girls ruining seats at The Vic, here Mensa shares his top 10 SAVEMONEY moments.
Savemoney Live at Reggies
"This was the first official Savemoney show. It was sold out and was just a super dope time. During "Don't Harsh My Mellow" at the end I took my shirt off fast as fuck LOL, quickest shirt removal caught on camera OF ALL TIME."
Kids These Days on Conan O'Brien
"This was a big moment. I was rocking the Savemoney Army tee on national TV, it just felt amazing to be getting that exposure. A couple of my homies who were in prison at the time told me they saw this in the pen and it helped them maintain, that shit meant mountains to me."
Vic Mensa, "Orange Soda"
"Who doesn't fucking love orange soda? This was just one of the funnest days I had with all my homies this summer. Summertime Chi AHH."
Donnie Trumpet, "Zion"
"This is the first of a lot of crazy dope music to come from Nico. Nico Genius! His Donnie Trumpet project is really just a look into a world and space that's so unique to him but so fresh."
Chance The Rapper, "22 Offs"
"This is one of my favorite videos Chano did, also one of my favorite videos Austin Vesely directed. Definitely one of his lesser known joints but super dope."
Vic Mensa, "Bootleg Kev Freestyle"
"When Kids These Days was on tour with Asher Roth & Chuck Inglish. I went to my homie Bootleg Kev's radio show for some freestyle shit, it was dope."
Joey Purp, "Just"
"Westsideplayalisticadillacmuzik. This video is super wavy, we were just at my manager Trip's house one day and called Austin (Vesely) to see if he was down to come do a video. The whole thing came together and was shot in like an hour."
Kami De Chukwu, "I'GNANT"
"We were out mad late when we shot this video because my homies directing it didn't really know how to use the RED camera they had. We ended having this 30 minute myspace pose photo shoot on a wall, with like 20 of the homies just changing poses chunking up deuces; cameras flashing, it was kinda epic."
Tokyo Shawn, "Community Service"
"This video was directed by Tokyo & my homie @toobusyLL, one of my favorite videos of anyone out the squad, Tokyo is just on some next level shit conceptually."
Kids These Days, "Don't Harsh My Mellow at The Vic Theatre"
"This shit was just absolute madness. It was the encore to Kids These Days Traphouse Rock release show, which was the day after Chance's 10Day Live 2 show, so it was just the ultimate Savemoney weekend. This girl peed on the floor in the front row, another kid got robbed for his wallet at wrench-point (LOL). Chance also tried to crowd surf at like 2:26 and hella didn't make it, which was hilarious."
1993 POP QUIZ
Patricia Arquette or Demi Moore?
Patricia, Little Nicky was my shit in like 2nd grade
Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins?
I love the Smashing Pumpkins but Nirvana might be my favorite band of all time.
Wu Tang or A Tribe Called Quest?
Unfair question, I guess I'll say Tribe though.
Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton?
Bill Clinton is kinda the homie.
Edward Furlong or Christian Slater?
Poetic Justice or Menace II Society?
Menace II society. But really "Don't Be A Menace (To Society While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood)" is my shit.
Jurassic Park or Groundhog Day?
Trainspotting or The Virgin Suicides?
Beavis or Butthead?
Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell?
Mortal Kombat or Super Mario Bros?
Super Mario Bros. But Super Smash Bros really.
Young and beautiful or old and wise?
Young and beautiful
North Side or South Side?
The Side (south side)
Lollapalooza or LOLZ?
RuPaul or Ron Jeremy?
Ron Jeremy I guess
Retro or future?
Drunk or sober?
Somewhere in between.
War or peace?
Metta World Peace
Night or day?
Party or bullshit?
I think bullshitting makes more music, so bullshit.
Follow Harry Thorne on Twitter here @hrfthorne