Vic Mensa has had quite a newsworthy 24 hours. Initially he generated headlines for "Heir To The Throne," a brand new freestyle that he unleashed last night. The freestyle seemed to contain some very direct shots in the direction of Travi$ Scott, even including Scott's "Straight Up!" ad-lib. Apparently it's beef season, and with shots being fired on this record it's not far off to speculate that Vic Mensa vs. Travi$ Scott might be the next high-profile faceoff in hip-hop. The (very dope) freestyle also addresses some of the criticisms he's faced lately, including comments on the influence (or lack thereof) that Kanye has had on his career, and more specifically his hit single "U Mad," as he states that he made the song before ever meeting Ye.
"Don't chalk my success up to Kanye influence
N*gga, I made U Mad before I met dude ass"
So we shouldn't chalk up the success of "U Mad" to Kanye, but what about French rapper Monsiuer Ice? Today a spotlight's been directed towards one of Ice's tracks, "Horus," that bears a striking resemblance to Vic's "U Mad." Monsiuer's record was produced by JO A, and after listening it's hard to argue there aren't similarities between the two songs. Even if you don't speak French and can't understand a word of what Ice is saying, the flow and beat are both pretty damn close, and the inclusion of the "OOOOH" ad-libs is setting off a definite Swaggy P confused face for many fans. Vic has yet to respond, but when someone on Twitter asked Monsiuer Ice about the possible biting from Mensa, he agreed and said "with total impunity." In French, of course.
It's hard to even speculate without hearing the songs in question, so go ahead and take a listen to "Horus" below, and then compare with Vic and Kanye's "U Mad."
It's entirely possible that Vic's never heard "Horus" and the similarities are completely coincidental, that he heard it in passing and subconsciously used a lot of the same elements when he wrote "U Mad," or that he was consciously inspired by the song, but does that mean he "stole" it? Of course, it would also be far from the first time a rapper tried to essentially lift a song without credit. With the discussion provoked by accusations of Drake using a ghostwriter
of how songs get made are often far more complicated than the "one guy in a room creating everything himself without any influences" model we often think of we we think of hip-hop.
So after listening to both records consecutively, what do you think?
[By Brendan Varan. He's wondering whether we'll hear a response from Travi$ Scott or Meek Mill first. Follow him on Twitter.]