The Chicago rapper announced the deal last week by releasing his debut single on the label, ‘U Mad’, which features a guest appearance from Kanye West.
Mensa joined West at the Brit Awards and a tiny gig in Camden in February, where the song was previewed. He also appears on West song ‘Wolves’ alongside Sia.
Roc Nation executive Lenny S. explained how the label signed Mensa, via a post on his Instagram, the Fader reports. “A while back, I caught wind of an artist from Chicago who I thought had undeniable talent + lots of potential,” he wrote underneath a photo of Mensa and Roc Nation founder Jay Z.
He continued: “As a music exec, I’m excited about traveling to the Chi to meet this guy for the 1st time. Coming from Roc, I assumed he’d be ecstatic. I assumed wrong. He barely gives me a head nod after Cody [Mensa’s manager] intros us. As I’m leaving, he stops me + says “yo, thanks for coming homie, where u from again?” I’d be lying to say I wasn’t slightly offended. Ha. I sarcastically answered “just a lil rec company named ROC NATION”. He replies, “oh, who y’all got there?” If u know me & my ROC pride, I’m offended again. Me: “Not sure if you’ve heard of them, a few small artists like, JZ, JCole & Rihanna”.”