Happy Vic Mensa day, everyone. His long-awaited Innanetape drops at 3 PM, and the release has all the makings of a capital-M moment. The project’s latest leak, “Lovely Day,” is a stupid-catchy romp full of piano jabs, rolling drums, and orange soda that comes complete with Top Gun, Rugrats, and Moulin Rouge jokes. If it evokes Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap, that’s because executive producer Peter Cottontale has a master plan. It’s also because Vic invented these flows before his best friend ever headlined a tour—and the inventor has mastered them. No longer do Vic’s rhythms feel unhinged. He’s tweaking but completely in the pocket. “Urban disturbin’ turban totin’ terrace smokin’ potent.” Which is to say that “Lovely Day” is a lovely single, but also that the 19-year-old goes savage.
I stopped by his Adidas-branded release party on Saturday at the Bakery in the Lacuna lofts and was honestly expecting there to be more buzz. The crowd that had showed up, dominated by filmmakers, bloggers, streetwear-boutique owners, and Save Money soldiers, weren’t acting like they were on the precipice of something great. To them it’s always been a foregone conclusion that Vic would break out. He was the one posting YouTube videos before any of his friends ever hit a booth. This is the star student. And now it’s his time.