Samuel T. Herring (Future Islands) Talks with Vic Mensa for The Talkhouse Music Podcast

The rising young rapper and the twinkle-toed synth-pop frontman bond over their misspent youths and the trials and tribulations of burgeoning stardom.

You might think that Chicago rapper Vic Mensa and Samuel Herring, the frontman of Baltimore synth-pop band Future Islands, don’t have much in common. But you’d be wrong. And it’s not because Mensa used to rap in a rock band and Herring has been a hip-hop fan since he was a kid. And it’s not because Mensa is a fan of the Beatles and Nirvana, and Herring is about to drop a hip-hop EP he recorded with Stones Throw producer Madlib.

No, it’s because Mensa and Herring are both musicians and they enjoy each other’s work. So these guys, who had never met before, hit it off right away when they sat down at the Talkhouse Music microphones backstage at the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival.

In less than 30 minutes, they cover a whole lot of ground: their previous lives as shoplifters, music biz economics, compromising youthful ideals, going to church, the ghettoes of Baltimore, the U.S. legal system and their mutual disappointment with the Obama presidency. And Herring even reveals the inspiration for his trademark sidestepping dance move!


Samuel T. Herring is the singer of Future Islands, whose acclaimed new album, Singles, is available now. He also collaborated with Madlib on the project Trouble Knows Me. You can follow Future Islands on Twitter here.
Vic Mensa is a Chicago-based rapper who recently dropped his debut single, “U Mad,” featuring Kanye West.  You can follow him on Twitter here.