In 2013, Vic Mensa spit “When you want it, but just can't have it / Especially as an artist, don't that shit make you mad” on his seminal mixtape, INNANETAPE. Four years later, Vic is flipping that narrative and posing a challenge to his fans: If you want to hear his debut album early, head over to one of bookstore locations he’s shared and snap a picture with the promotional poster in the window.
Intrigued, we reached out to fans on Twitter and asked them about their Vic Mensa scavenger hunt experience.
As you can imagine, everyone rushed to the locations Vic shared (ranging from stores in Chi-town to Harlem) to get their picture ahead of The Autobiography’s July 28th release. Certain fans, like Lex, travelled over an hour from the suburbs.
The timing couldn’t have been better for Scott Sandalow, who told us, “I was visiting my family in the Chicago suburbs for the week. Even though it was a little out of the way, I drove by the Logan Square location which is a neat bookstore and record store, pulled over really quickly, in a lot of rush hour traffic, and was able to snap a pic really quickly.”
Before heading out with her sister and cousin, a fan named Bella “called Volume Book Cafe before leaving the house but they gave us really vague information.” She “CTA’d it” from the South Side to Wicker Park, got her picture, and “a few hours later, Vic made another Instagram post, thanking his fans and tagged my cousin Cobe in it.”
Over on the East Coast, Luke Boylan took a train from Brooklyn to Harlem, to Revolution Books. He didn’t run into any fans, but did stumble upon “one other dude there and he had a video camera. The rig seemed somewhat professional. He had a small over-the-shoulder Sony camera and a small point-and-shoot that he was using to taking videos of the bookstore.” Everyone we spoke to alluded to there likely being more to come from Vic this weekend, and this cameraman is a sign they might be right.
In terms of fan experience, Sandalow also had this to say: “Since he's started putting out records, him and the whole group have been so, so good at getting the word out in non-traditional ways, and getting the fans to work for them—especially in Chicago. From the SAVEMONEY pop-up shop in 2013—where he was literally selling merch himself—to handing out mixtapes outside shows, the dude grinds. Really makes his fans feel like they're part of the movement.”
Scott’s right. Between traffic, subway delays, and running into semi-professional camera rigs, this is one of the more creative album roll-outs of 2017.