Victor “Vic Mensa” Mensah and Chancelor “Chance the Rapper” Bennett came up together on Chicago’s underground music scene. The two emcees were even part of the SaveMoney collective along with Nico Segal, Towkio, Joey Purp, and others.
Chance appeared on Mensa’s breakout Innanetape project in 2013. That same year, Vic showed up on Chano’s star-making Acid Rap mixtape. They both went on to become 2014 XXL Freshman class members, and they built business connections with Hip Hop legends like Jay-Z and Kanye West.
After the two midwesterners had a falling out, they finally reconciled in 2017 at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. Borrowing a line from Jay-Z’s 4:44 track “Family Feud,” Mensa tweeted at the time, “Nobody wins when the family [feuds]. THE VIBES ARE BACK.”
Collaborative music involving Vic and Chance is now back as well. Today (February 5), Vic Mensa returned with the new single “Shelter” which features his SaveMoney comrade Chance the Rapper as well as Fugees founding member Wyclef Jean. An Andre Muir-directed music video for “Shelter” will go live on YouTube at 10 am ET.
The release of “Shelter” is also serving as a fundraiser for Julius Jones, the current death row inmate who maintains he was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder in 2002 at the age of 22. Numerous celebrities and sports figures have advocated for his release from prison. For example, Oscar-winner Viola Davis produced the ABC docu-series The Last Defense which covered Jones’s case.
According to Mensa, “Shelter” was inspired by an actual conversation he had with Jones who apparently was a fan of the rapper’s song “We Could Be Free.” The Roc Nation recording artist is also prompting his followers to sign the Change.org petition calling for the state of Oklahoma not to execute the former University of Oklahoma student.