Vic Mensa and Joey Purp add to Chicago’s scorching-hot streak with “773 Freestyle”

I’ve already talked about the great music coming out of Chicago this year – from Chance The Rapper to Jamila Woods to Noname to Joey Purp, the 773 is front and center in any discussion on rap and R&B in 2016. Lost in the shuffle is Kanye West affiliate Vic Mensa, who despite the famous cosign has yet to break through in the way Chance has. You wouldn’t know it on “773 Freestyle,” his new team-up with Joey Purp, a track as confident, fun, and seasoned as more detailed rap cuts. The track’s rough edges adds to its charm, but it’s how Mensa and Purp feed off each other that is most thrilling. “This ain’t no backpack shit. Every book bag I had had pounds in it,” raps Joey Purp authoritatively at one point, and the two move throughout “773 Freestyle” with that hardened, invincible swagger. “773 Freestyle” is not only a celebration for Mensa and Purp, but all the city they represent. As an outsider, it’s thrilling to constantly get a look inside the worldview inhabited by so many of the artists responsible for the year’s most affirming, satisfying music.

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