innanetape, freshman year, & my music collection feat. vic mensa’s the autobiography

Chicago rapper Vic Mensa played a substantial part in the growth of my music taste…whatever that may be.

Mensa’s 2013 debut solo mixtape Innanetape was one of the first tapes that I downloaded off of the uber popular free mixtape site DatPiff. This tape built the infrastructure of my now hefty music collection.

There’s something so special about a person’s music collection. It isn’t just songs that you listen to by chance on the radio. You put in an effort to make these songs a part of you (by downloading, purchasing, etc.). They are what you connect with in some way, and they’re the soundtrack to your life.

I have intricate memories linked with songs from Innanetape such as Tweakin’, Orange Soda, and Hollywood LA.

Hollywood LA, in particular, reminds me of my first year of college. Learning about my ever-changing music tastes was how I found out more about myself. I remember coming back to my dorm from a day of class and drowning myself in smooth, jazzy rap like Hollywood L.A. while I dozed off to sleep on my overly decorated Twin XL bed. It was the perfect way to de-stress from a heavily stressful situation.

Ever since Vic signed with Roc Nation a couple of years ago, it’s been hard to predict the timing of Vic’s first studio album. Singles like Down On My Luck and U Mad have hinted at a larger project coming, but we’ve only witnessed a couple of EPs. I haven’t necessarily connected with his later projects as much as I did with Innanetape, but I was always intrigued with his rather squiggly path through the music business.

I just finished listening to The Autobiography, Vic Mensa’s long-awaited first studio album. He’s dipping into more personal territory (with a name like The Autobiography, it’s expected) but it was dope to get a clearer peek into the trials and tribulations of Vic Mensa. Part of me has fallen into “I miss the old Vic.” territory, but I have to remind myself that Vic’s grown up. Vic’s world’s gotten bigger since Innanetape. Tastes are bound to change and adapt. I can dig that.

I vibed with a good amount of the songs on first listen, like Memories on 47th Street, Homewrecker / Gorgeous (They’re equally as lyrically terrible, but they’re also hilarious. I’ll probably add them to one of my grand Spotify playlists if only for a laugh.), and the closing track We Could Be Free.

Maybe I’ll fall in love with these songs too in due time. I’ll twist them into my memories like I did with Innanetape, and maybe in a couple years, I’ll be talking your ear off about what that these songs mean to me.

We’ll see.


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