A thirst for truth

Mick Jenkins. Photo by Leon Laing.

Mick Jenkins. Photo by Leon Laing.

When I met Mick Jenkins backstage, I told him he reminds me of Jay Electronica. With voices as deep as James Earl Jones’, both rappers write thought-provoking lyrics against a backdrop of melodic beats.

Jenkins opened up for Redman and Method Man at Lancaster’s Chameleon Club on Oct. 17. “Rain,” one of the songs from Jenkins’ setlist, samples Missy Elliott’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).” Like Method Man, the Chicago-based lyricist stands more than 6 feet tall. His music and appearance are the polar artist opposite of mainstream. The preppy dresser was clad in a shirt jacket, T-shirt, skinny jeans and high-top boat shoes. “I wear what I like,” Jenkins explained.

Recently, Jenkins inked a deal with Cinematic Music Group. “I fuck with everybody,” he said referring to Cinematic’s signees. “Joey [Bada$$] is amazing.” Jenkins dropped his Waters mixtape Aug. 14. Waters is a follow up to his Trees and Truths mixtape. “I’m just wit my niggas hanging,” Jenkins said in “Martyrs,” a moving song from Waters. The nooses in the “Martyrs” video and “Strange Fruit” sample in the song help emphasize the lyrics’ double entendre. “A lot of videos start with a think tank,” Jenkins said about the video’s concept. He wanted to use “jarring imagery.”

After covering rising artists, such as Biggie, in its Unsigned Hype section, The Source magazine has been known for introducing some of hip-hop’s greats. In The Source’s current Unsinged Hype (issue No. 263), the mag interviews Jenkins. The Source said “Chicago doesn’t rank in the top 25 cities with murders per capita as of 2013. “It’s not as bad a people think,” Jenkins told us about crime in Chicago. Yet, he said crime is “a blemish on the city.”

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