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Vic Mensa and Rockie Fresh Question Wealth and Fame on ‘Time Is Money’

Vic Mensa 'Time Is Money' Rockie Fresh Boi 1da Beldina

Chicago rap upstart Vic Mensa is building toward the August release of his mixtape, Innanetape — a set that, in many ways, will serve as a sequel to Chance the Rapper’s SPIN Essential, Acid Rap. Both hail from the song-rap oriented SAVEMONEY crew, and both have a predilection for soulful, slightly weeded productions with a contemplative bent. Mensa knows how to have fun too (revisit his fizzy opening salvo “Orange Soda,” we’ll wait) but of late he’s been examining the trappings of success. 

A couple of weeks ago we heard “Hollywood,” and now we have “Time Is Money,” a thoughtful piece featuring an ace verse from Maybach Music Group smartypants Rockie Fresh, backing vocals from Swedish-Kenyan singer Beldina, and beatwork from major hit-maker Boi 1da. Like Chance before him, Mensa also has his mind on the complex issues facing his city’s African-American community: “I’d like to think I’d ask the right things if God was right before me / Like, ‘Why you let babies get shot? Why babies is killin’?’ / All because the system that raised me from grade school made me the villain.”

Put on your thinking cap: