Vic Mensa Explains That His Kanye West Connection Runs Deeper Than Music

Chicago is in their blood.

Most artists who've had the chance to work with Kanye West will tell you that he's one of the busiest men on earth, but 'Ye has certainly made time for Vic Mensa this year.

The 21-year-old is featured on Kanye's single "Wolves," they teamed up for his own track "U Mad" and have performed together a couple of times, including in their hometown Chicago earlier this month at an open mic event.

Vic tells MTV News that growing up in the same city has definitely strengthened their connection.

"I grew up on Kanye West's music and Jay Z's music, but specifically in the case of Kanye, I'm from Chicago, I'm from the Southside, so I think there's a [different] level that we can communicate on," he explained. "There's an understanding of certain things that not everybody on the street is gonna have, because I know the same streets that he grew up on in a different era. I know the next generation of that."

He admitted that joining Kanye for a surprise performance during Chance the Rapper's recent open mic event in the Southside was the highlight of his career so far. Especially since it was where he spent a lot of his childhood.

"That's the heart of Chicago, that's the Southside, that's the hood," he said. "This was the most momentous occasion to bring some sh-t like that back to the hood. It hasn't happened, and it just meant so much."

"Kids came from all over the city to the Southside. People don't come to the Southside -- the whole world is scared of the Southside, not just Chicago, the entire world is afraid of the Southside, because it's depicted as a war zone," Vic explained.

"So being able to drop a gigantic love bomb in the middle of what the whole world considers to be a hateful place -- that meant more to me than any huge paid show. I felt like I was living with a purpose at this point."

Following the performance, Vic and Chance sat down with Kanye and his team for dinner, and marveled at the fact that most of their peers are graduating from college at this point -- something that they clearly passed up on, to pursue music.

"'Ye [said], 'Well, y'all are graduating too. Look at where you're sitting right now."

Welcome to Graduation, Vic.

Below, Vic breaks down some essential Chi-Town slang for MTV News.