Besides the obvious, I think it’s fair to say Chicago-bred rap had dried up for a few years, but then somewhere in between 2013 and 2014, it seemed like every hot prospect was representing Chi-town. Chance The Rapper blew up with Acid Rap, Vic Mensa with INNANETAPE, and now even more exciting names continuing to come through the ranks such as Towkio and Noname Gypsy, another of those looking to reach those heights is Mick Jenkins. After a well-received debut project The Water[s], Jenkins now releases is follow-up project Wave[s].
When Wave[s] kicks off, the first comparisons I make are somewhere between Tyler, The Creator and Kendrick Lamar. The production is often airy and very Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe in a lot of places, and Jenkins’ vocals and delivery is often brash and tumbling like with the Odd Future frontman’s. Despite the colourful artwork, Wave[s] is a fairly dark project with the production playing a big part in this, synths and baselines haunt and shroud, with Jenkins’ vocals commonly draped over the top.
The comparisons to Tyler, The Creator become more frequent throughout the project, with Your Love and Piano being two of the more obvious examples. However, I would call Jenkins more ‘accessible’ than Tyler, Wave[s] is significantly more straightforward than Cherry Bomb for example. However, with this comes an air of consistency and completion. Experimentation and obscurity aren’t necessarily the first thoughts with Wave[s] but by no stretch of the imagination is it boring, straightforward or flat.
Wave[s] is a tidy little project, and throws Mick Jenkins into the next batch of future rap stars. The LP’s production is enticing and often hypnotic; Jenkins’ vocals dip and weave their way in and out of the instrumental on The Giver, where as the drum-driven P’s & Q’s leaves all responsibility up to Jenkins’ lyricism and delivery. Now with a couple of solid projects under his belt, Mick Jenkins is a rapper you should be taking more seriously with every release.
Verdict – WWW