Mick Jenkins
The Water[s]


4.0
excellent

Review

by RivalSkoomaDealer USER (22 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 08/12/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Step into The Water[s] and be refreshed.

“Drink more water.”

This is the message of Mick Jenkins, 23 year old Chicago MC. He recently opened for Earl Sweatshirt and Domo Genesis on the Chicago stop of their tour and has earned the attention of much of the underground hip-hop community with his two successful mixtapes. After dropping his debut mixtape (a concept tape revolving loosely around the story of the temptation of Adam & Eve) Jenkins has released his follow up The Water[s]. His theme this time? A more open ended concept that analyzes the freeing attributes of our most important natural resource: water.

The simplicity of the theme allows for a conscious and introspective examination of how valuable water is to us and how we’ve all taken this precious commodity for granted. The proclamation of the title track: “Water more important than the gold. People for the gold. Everybody do it for the gold. People save your soul,” is perhaps the thesis statement for the whole tape, one not likely heard confidently from many other prominent hip-hop artists today. On “Healer” Jenkins states: “My piss never been this clear. My pockets never been this empty. My heart never been this full but my stomach’s not so nigga don’t tempt me.” He laments the empty successes of some of his peers with lyrics like “I couldn’t afford to get my girl into this open mic that I performed for...But somewhere in the world there’s a Riff Raff concert that people gon' swarm for." There’s something about Jenkins’ delivery that leads you to an understanding that it’s more than jealousy at work-Jenkins feels he has much more to offer today’s youth than most of his peers who treat their body of work as a joke or use it to perpetuate self destructive lifestyles. His brutally honest confessions pepper this mixtape with enough emotion and sincerity for the listener to mostly buy into Jenkins’ moral stance, even if he does have a tendency to drill it into the listener a little too often. “Little niggas got guns now,” he raps on “Martyrs.” His bars are consistently delivered with passion and power and are chock full of plenty of social commentary, calling to mind the flow of Kendrick with a bit more of a socially conscious delivery. Jenkins’ stance elevates his work to an entirely different arena than Chicago peers like Chance and Chief Keef.

Sonically, the beats used on this tape match the theme of water perfectly. Everything is slowed down and airy, offering an immersive experience that delivers the sensation of being underwater. The production is very adept for a project with such a small budget. Opener “Shipwrecked” boasts a fantastic shift in the beat about half way through that brings with it Jenkins’ intense delivery. Joey Bada$$ and NoNameGypsy put in some noteworthy guest appearances here, as well as some well used hooks from Ebony and Jean Deaux. OnGaud kills it again, just as before on Trees & Truths, showing up for 6 of the 15 tracks and creating a tension with each track that captivates and holds the attention of the listener.

Jenkins sees his music as his mission. Where other artists give their fans toxic lyrics about empty riches and self destruction, Jenkins offers his fans hope and inspiration. He sees the world for what it truly is, never sugar coating or offering fantasies of fame or fortune. His music is as refreshing as, well, water. This project cements the man as not only a skilled lyricist but also a great storyteller and a technically proficient songwriter. The Water[s] is an improvement on his debut in almost every aspect.

Chicago has proven to be THE city to watch for rising star MCs and Mick Jenkins is the latest up and comer to show his chops. The hip hop community needs artists like this. All it takes is just a few successful artists like Jenkins to cause a shift in consciousness. Time will tell if people will latch onto someone like Jenkins the same way they did Chance, despite having such a radically different message.

So, have you drank enough water today?



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
RivalSkoomaDealer
September 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

STREAM: https://soundcloud.com/mickjenkinsmusic/sets/the-waters

Impressed with what this dude has to offer. What about yall?

Digging: Creepers - Lush

oltnabrick
September 22nd 2014


31100 Comments


Not really impressed with this.

Digging: Ariel Pink - Pom Pom

RivalSkoomaDealer
September 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You're right Yung Lean is so much better

oltnabrick
September 22nd 2014


31100 Comments


You were asking what I thought of this. I said I wasn't impressed. You started comparing it to Yung Lean. Why?

RivalSkoomaDealer
September 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You 5'd Unknown Memory. You must think it is greater in quality than this. No?

I value your opinion. Definitely get that it's not for everybody.

oltnabrick
September 22nd 2014


31100 Comments


Its not really that this is bad its just been done a lot of times before. Its really similar to Kendrick's Section 80 tbh.

RivalSkoomaDealer
September 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I feel you. Honestly if it weren't for the lyrical content I wouldn't think as highly of it. I agree that it doesn't really reinvent the wheel or anything. The dude can flow with the best of 'em though.

PiedradeLuna
September 22nd 2014


225 Comments


Well written review.
Heard a single off this last week and thought it was pretty good. Still got to listen to the whole thing but you make it sound promising, especially his message.

RivalSkoomaDealer
September 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

If you're into conscious hip-hop then I think you'll dig this.

And thanks!

PiedradeLuna
September 22nd 2014


225 Comments


I wouldn't really say I'm into conscious hip hop, don't get me wrong I don't mind it but can also get into the more superficial stuff. With Jenkins though, his message sounded pretty unique. I didn't know till I read this that it was a concept album about water.

Yeah no problem. Will give the stream a go when I'm home.

Wolfhorde
September 22nd 2014


13648 Comments


I'm uneasy with the term "conscious hip hop".

Although, it's not as awful as "cloud rap".

PiedradeLuna
September 22nd 2014


225 Comments


It is rather odd sounding but guess it's just a shorter way of writing hip hop with a positive message (even that is a bit misleading and subjective)

RivalSkoomaDealer
September 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I mean it's all based on the artist's personal moral code. It just depends on how much you agree with
what they're saying I suppose.

I use conscious hip hop as a genre tag in the loosest way possible. But if you vibe with Lupe or
Common's lyrics then this tape will probably be up your alley.

Wolfhorde
September 22nd 2014


13648 Comments


Yeah, I don't like Lupe Fiasco. I do like this, though. I just don't like the implication of "conscious", it has a whiff of pretense.

It just makes my mind inevitably drift to the suburban white stoner kid at Occupy rallies rambling on about how "Corporate America is the devil". I just don't think being "socially conscious" (whatever that means) is anything of inherent value or an indicator of anything but ideology.

RivalSkoomaDealer
September 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I definitely feel you. However, I dont think Jenkins is a fake activist or trying to express his views
to encourage personal glorification. My views just happen to line up with his well enough to
get a deeper appreciation for his music.

I think there is plenty of value in what Jenkins is saying.

DropdeadWHA
September 23rd 2014


654 Comments


Really not sure on this, has some good tracks though. I think it's gonna require multiple listens for it to click with me. I agree about the production though, it's great.

jtswope
October 7th 2014


2369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Healer and Dehydration are beautiful. Yeah the production is great.



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