music festival last month in Indio, California. (Getty Images)
Just when I was sure they were really going to go places, young Chicago band Kids These Days has split up.
The young South Side band -- comprised of several members, large enough to encompass its multitude of styles -- just released its acclaimed debut album, "Traphouse Rock," last fall. In the span of little more than a year, the pop-rock-rap collective landed gigs at Lollapalooza and Coachella, a showcase at South by Southwest and an appearance on "Conan."
But singer-rapper Vic Mensa tells XXL today that Kids These Days "will no longer function as a band."
Mensa drops this bomb with some other good news: He's launching a solo career. Following his appearance on one of the year's best rap albums, Chance the Rapper's "Acid Rap," Mensa premiered the following solo video for a song called "DID IT B4":
(That cemetery looks familiar ...)
In discussing the band's allegedly amicable split, Mensa takes a chunk of the blame:
No, I mean - I'm the type of person to always speak my mind, you know? And I think that partially led to the group's breakup. I'm just a really strong-willed and opinionated person, and I have a lot of ideas, and I'm not the only one. But there were things that I did, I was trying... I was just over-trying. I did some things that weren't appreciated because I wanted to let other people have their creative say. But nobody wants to be doing things that aren't appreciated, and no one wants to feel stifled when making music. Music is about being free, and we just kind of grew apart.
"It was definitely a creative thing," Liam Cunningham told the Sun-Times. "When we started the band, we were all 15 years old, and we've all grown musically since then. I think everybody felt a bit suffocated."
Meanwhile, Cunningham has organized a new group with three former KTD members: singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart, bassist Lane Beckstrom and drummer Greg Landfair.
"I'm really excited for this project, it's going to be more rock," said Stewart, who will share songwriting duties with Cunningham. "People do new things all the time, but we have a great team backing us and people who believe in us. I think that's the most important thing moving forward."
Also moving on are Nico Segal and J.P. Floyd, the band's horn section. The two have been playing with R&B artist Frank Ocean, including recent gigs in California and at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.