Jenkins entertains on his way up

Hip-hop artist makes splash in underground scene

Jenkins entertains on his way up

Jayson Jenkins, better known by his stage name Mick Jenkins, is an up-and-coming hip-hop artist from Chicago, IL. Making a real splash in the underground scene with his mixtape The Water[s] (2014), the young lyricist is starting to make me believe conscious can be cool again.

I discovered Mick because I’m a fan of Jozif Badmon, and they have a song together called Jerome, which is the last track on the tape. Immediately I was taken aback by Mick’s aggressive flow and piercing wordplay. So I downloaded The Water[s] to see what he was exactly going for.

I was pleasantly surprised by the piercing lyricism, hard-hitting beats and cohesiveness of it all. It quickly became one of my favorite mixtapes of the year. That’s why I was extremely excited to hear that he was releasing an EP this year, entitled Wave[s].

I try not to have expectations for new music, because I’ve been sadly disappointed by projects before, so I kept an open mind when listening to this. But I really did not see this coming – especially how different it is.

Mick is explorative, switching up his hard hip-hop style to a more melodic, Neo-Soul vibe. The instrumentation is infectious, with soaring synths and impressive live drum-breaks.

The production is mostly handled by THEMpeople, but we also hear some beats from Lee Bannon and Kaytranada. Mick is actually singing much more, showing off his songwriting skills with catchy hooks and soothing bridges. He’s proving that he can do much more than just rapping.

But make no mistake – Mick brings the bars along with the new style. On tracks like Ps and Qs, Perception and Alchemy, the Chi-town native pelts us with thought-provoking verses back-to-back.

Overall, we received another pleasant surprise from Mick, and I’m excited for his debut album. It’s supposedly called The Healing Component, and is scheduled to release next year.

Favorite songs: Alchemy, Get Up Get Down

Least favorite songs: Your Love, Slumber, The Giver

Rating: 7.5/10