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The EP starts off ominously , what only feels like voices talking in my head about thirst and hunger and society, leads to one of Mick Jenkins’ (can I just call him MJ?!) most potent, energetic, and visceral tracks to date; “Alchemy”. Picking up right where he left off on “The Water(s)”, with thought provoking similes and the delivery of a pastor preaching a fiery sermon.
“Don’t greet me as God, my nigga I ain’t no deity”
The album really starts to seperate itself from his prior work by the 3rd track with Mick trying new flows and more en vogue production styles than the more old schoolish underground sound fans are familiar hearing him over. Kaytranada does such a great job of taking rappers out of their comfort zones while still keeping the music quality; such is the case on “P’s & Q’s” & “Your Love”. The latter of which is a club influenced joint that seems somewhat satirical.
I swear he’s pronouncing Chicago like “She-cago” because of how well it suits the atmosphere. Subtleties like this have always been what made him so special, the little things in the end usual amount to the difference between the greats and the “good enough”‘s.
“As long as you feeling’ the vibes Imma keep dealin’ the vibes”
Thempeople handle most of the production otherwise with an assortment of mid to upper mid tempo beats that really stretch the limits of the Mick Jenkins we’ve gotten used to from the last few drops. “Quantum leaps ahead of my peers”, the emcee is clearly quite conscious of his existence in an already quite crowded rap scene but he also sees that he does what others don’t, he is self aware, thoughtful; his punch lines often come in the form of extended metaphors because there is so much depth to even the most seemingly simple things in life.
“Saw the world In different colors”
Mick has a little crossover appeal on this tape! With some singing and infectious bridges, he has really taken his songwriting ability to the next level, he’s not just a rapper, he’s not just a poet, he has reached the status of full fledged “artist” who’s music should be interpreted on varying levels. He is growing exponentially as a musician and as a conscious human as well. The tide is turning in this rap game and the “Wave(s)” will help bring you ashore.
“40 Below”, “Alchemy”, “Slumber”, & “Perception” are personal favorites.