With reporting by Chris Kim
Vic Mensa was excited to be selected for the cover of this year's XXL Freshman issue, which dropped online earlier this week. So much so, in fact, that the Chicago MC pulled an all-nighter to make it to the mag's photo shoot.
"I heard the night before they shot it, actually, and then I flew out to New York the next day," he told MTV News recently, while we visited him on the set of his "Feel That" video. "I was in the studio, making this record called 'Grand Prix,' and then I got that call, and then we flew out early in the morning. I didn't even go to sleep."
As one of just 12 artists on this year's cover, the Save Money crew member sounded eager to capitalize on the opportunity. But he was just as enthused -- if not more so -- that three of his fellow Chicagoans were also selected.
"I'm psyched, 'cause the crib is well represented: It's four Chicago artists on there, including myself," he said, referencing Chance the Rapper, Lil Durk and Lil Bibby, as well. "It's awesome."
Still, Vic hopes this moment will merely mark an ackowledgement of the music he's making and the fanbase he's building.
"It's a testament to a lot of work, and to what I'm doing," he said. "At the end of the day, it's not the accolades and labels and awards that make you or break you. It's what I do in the studio. It's that elbow grease when I'm cookin' in the kitchen. That's what counts."