The Vulnerability of Vic Spencer
>>Chicago based rapper Vic Spencer opens up about making Psychological Cheat Sheet.
Vic Spencer is vulnerable and he doesn’t care if you know that. There’s a reason for it and it’s not the reason that you think. He’s not a heart on his sleeve guy, someone who counts his glass as always half empty, in fact he’s the opposite. He’s cheerful and easy to talk to. His wisdom is easily discernable when listening to his music, but it’s even more obvious when speaking to him. He’s grounded, naturally confident, but lovingly approachable as if you’ve known him your whole life. He’s like a good friend you haven’t talked to in a while but always pick up where you left off without any work. But the music, the lyrics, and the man combined are something serious, something beautiful, and something that is vulnerable.
Vic Spencer was born and raised in Chicago Illinois and still resides there to this day. A resilient and hardworking man with perpetual affability, he sounds like Chicago, his music sounds Mid-West, a mashup of laid back west coast beats and vibes with pungent east coast lyrical wit. There’s few out there like him and one listen shows an eclectic mix of tastes that combines for pure art. “When you’re doing music for the love you don’t care about how many albums you have out there. That don’t matter to me. I’m cooking music, cutting 4 or 5 records a week for seven years”, he says.
Vic has put out an incredible amount of music since 2015. Eleven full length albums and another one about to drop, working with talented musicians, rappers, and producers alike from Sean Price to SonnyJim, Quelle Chris to Chris Crack it doesn’t seem like the man could sleep or eat. Just cut, mix, and rap. “When I was a shorty, I was recording on cassette tapes and karaoke machines every day. I had the mentality where I’m going to treat it like I’m in the studio”, he says nonchalantly.
He works ahead of his own game, putting records together for the future. Thankful and humbled by his opportunity for studio time, Vic doesn’t let a minute go to waste. It’s hard work day in and day out, music and lyrics pouring from his soul like a waterfall, the tributaries always refilling his river of thoughts. He specifically names Redman, Sean Price, and MF DOOM as influences and you can hear that in his bars and beats. “He made me pick up a pen and made me want to be witty and funny”, he says of Redman.
The staggering output of music never slacks in intensity. It’s like Vic’s been a volcano his whole life just waiting to explode and when he got his opportunity, he’s been Vesuvius, with no signs of stopping or even slowing in the future. He says he gets his inspiration for his gargantuan output from Nike. “They know what they dropping next year at this time”, he says. He pauses briefly to collect his thoughts and adds, “I’ve been given this opportunity and I gotta go full throttle. I’m working on 2022 and 23 right now.”
There are lines on Psychological Cheat Sheet that one could dissect, parse, and study. Individual lines that, if you know Vic Spencer, his music, and his history you can easily see and feel the vulnerability. That’s on purpose, his cadence influenced directly by heroes, his lyrics crafted directly from personal past experience. Cheat Sheet was made with Vic’s sincere and honest thoughts in mind and giving the listener a real experience, allowing you access to secret locked cabinets hidden deep inside his psyche. Vic truly believes that to be an artist you have to share everything with the world, it’s what binds us to the music and gives us direct
He expands about himself saying he is “the most vulnerable rapper in this new decade” and doesn’t think many artists are being “very vulnerable at this moment. They’re protective of their feelings.” He adds, “You don't’ see men crying. You don’t see men hugging. You don’t see this generation crying at concerts. You don’t see the emotional attachment, that type of energy like it used to be. I’m not saying there’s not good artist, I’m saying the feeling they get when they listen to the music.” This is what sets him apart. It’s not just the musicianship and the wildly intelligent lyrics, it’s the feeling, it’s the romanticism, the true love.
Vic’s newest album No Shawn Skemps came out today April 20th. It was announced on Twitter just a few weeks ago which is as good a place as any to stay up with him and who he might be listening to for further inspiration. “I love Count Bass D. I love that he’s different. When it hits the soul it’s over with. I would love to do music with Count Bass D”, he adds. Armed with his sincerity and sedulousness, Vic Spencer is vulnerable and doesn’t care if you know that.