Chicago’s up and coming emcee Vic Mensa has released a new freestyle. Dropping freestyles from time to time is a great way for artists to stay relevant, giving fans some new material. It also let’s us Hip Hop heads know that these emcees still have skills on mic, as freestyles are more raw and lyrical, verses tracks that are formulaic and structured.
Vic decided to use the beat from the pop group Twenty One Pilots called “Heathens”. You may have heard the track from the Suicide Squad soundtrack. It was a really great idea to use this beat as most emcees would not think to jump on a track like this. Hip Hop artists are focused on Hip Hop beats so it’s not top of mind. I’ve heard some Action Bronson mixtapes where he uses some non Hip Hop beats that you would not expect an emcee on, and it worked really well.
I don’t think this is an easy feat, but Vic kills this freestyle, using raw lyrics and slick lines to change the overall vibe of the beat, compared to the original. It’s incredible how if I never heard the original track, I would have thought this beat was made for Hip Hop. That’s the beauty of Hip Hop. It can transcend different genres. It doesn’t work well all the time, but when it does, you’re in for a real treat.
Check it out on Soundcloud.