The V.I.C.E. Boys are repping Twin Cities hip-hop's next wave

A closer look at the Minneapolis-based rap collective.

The acronym in the V.I.C.E. Boys' name stands for Victory Isn’t Coming Easy, but they're working hard to win.

The Minneapolis-based rap collective – featuring rappers CHVNSV, Connor Marques, RoDizzyy, and Yahiko, and videographer Nate P. – craft upbeat bangers and trap anthems repping their "Gang" or "Squad."

Products of Wayzata High School, the V.I.C.E. Boys have been around since fall of 2015. Connor and Dizzy spent that previous summer dipping into rap, and their crew of friends soon followed suit. Besides cultivating a serious SoundCloud following, they've landed opening slots for national touring acts like Migos.

When the guys visited the GoMN offices earlier this year, the conversation was energetic, far from focused, and totally entertaining. For instance, while recalling becoming friends in middle school, they reminisced about listening to B96 on bus rides home. This quickly evolves into Connor's nostalgia for MySpace and his active profile into a new marketing tool for his music.

Each Boy has his own style 

To understand V.I.C.E. Boys, look at their heroes in hip-hop collective Odd Future. The group's stars Earl Sweatshirt, Frank Ocean, and Tyler, the Creator each displayed strong individual traits that diversified their sound and led to successful solo careers.

Each V.I.C.E. Boy has standout quirks. CHVNSV (pronounced Chansa) is the most experimental. Within his latest tape, he drifts away from a strict moody, trap sound that defines the group's music. In “Company" CHVNSV channels dancehall and reggae vibes, while "Shadows" favors a sing-heavy downtempo wave.

Yahiko's consistency comes with his distinct, raspy voice, like a higher-pitched Earl Sweatshirt. On his first release, "Vacations In France," he spits bar after bar, barely leaving room to breathe in between rhymes.

When meeting GoMN, RoDizzyy commanded the room in his big shades, bright grill and classic Iron Maiden band tee. He is a model for self-confidence, brash and unafraid to wear all his chains at the same time or claim himself as one of his own musical inspirations. "I got sauce and flow on the beat," he said of his own work. He creates chill trap waves while rapping about proving haters wrong in one of his most popular songs, “Ima Make It.”

Connor Marques also made a statement with a simple hoodie and skinny jean combination, paired with a mini Louis Vuitton backpack. His sound? "Gritty underground type sh*t with punk influences." His bass-heavy song "Bandboy," complete with an Adam DeGross cover photo, embodies this aesthetic. He explained that they've all "fleshed out who we are better and it shows in our music."

How the Boys work together

The V.I.C.E. Boys bonded over shared love for Odd Future, Travis Scott and Drake, so rapping together was a natural move. "This isn't really just a music group, it's family," Nate said. This family uses its collective online presence to promote individual efforts, and vice versa.

A prime example of this is when each V.I.C.E. boy shared CHVNSV’s mid-May release of his latest tape Lost Cause. Having five channels to spread streamable songs allows for more visibility and a higher chance of long-standing, local hip-hop acts like Atmosphere (see above) to notice.

Plus, they support one another onstage, hyping the crowd when someone else is on the mic. Over the past year, they have won over Twin Cities crowds who showed up to see Migos, Ugly God, Playboi Carti, Pouya, Maxo Kream, and Wifisfuneral.

Opening for big hip-hop shows has been steady work, but they're hungry to keep improving. When asked about inspirational sources, they all noted the V.I.C.E. Boys. RoDizzyy explained that through friendly competition they “make each other colder.”

Nate P.'s video vision for the Boys

"Videos are sort of our thing,” in-house videographer Nate P. said. He scouts locations, films, and edits clips for visual stories that extend the V.I.C.E. Boys' identities. The product always puts familiar Twin Cities scenes in a new light, through using thoughtful typography and edgy graphics, like flames and fast-rolling clouds.

Nate often picks out risky locales for video shoots, such as rooftops, caves and the top of a billboard. "I felt like I put my life on the line," CHVNSV said, recalling their "Squad" video, which was shot in an eerie candlelit cave in St. Paul, aka “Tunnel of Terror.”

In the "V.I.C.E. Boys Day in the Life" series, he not only documents pre-show activities like eating chicken at Hooks or attending soundcheck, but also brings his camera onstage during each gig to give viewers a a taste of their boisterous live performances. The video above shows there's lots of jumping and torn off T-shirts.

"In The Air"

Nate cites the just-released music video for CHVNSV’s “In The Air” (feat. Connor Marques and RoDizzyy) as his "best work." Yahiko and So Cold Records' Finding Novyon and Allan Kingdom also make appearances.

In it, the boys lavishly take over at The Mansion in trippy fashion, aided by a black light, and careful editing turning Connor's red hoodie to every color in the rainbow.

There's no telling what these boys will be up to next, but a joint mixtape is apparently up "In The Air."

Follow the collective’s official Twitter and SoundCloud pages for new releases from each member. Your next opportunity to see V.I.C.E. Boys live is at their opening performance for Mike Jones in July.

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