One listen to Mick Jenkins’ music and you’ll want more from the rapper.
Jenkins’ introduced his upcoming project, “The Water[s],” strongly, with the powerful single, “Martyrs,” and an eerie, even more impactful accompanying video.
It’s no surprise as Jenkins, born in Alabama, has a way with the pen; It’s been so since knee-high. When attending Oakwood University, Jenkins joined a poetry group, Art & Soul, alongside his friends. He and the rest of the group entered a rap competition which ultimately “sparked me to go full force with” rap.
He later joined another poetry collective, YCA, when he left Oakwood and moved to Chicago to be alongside extended family and care for his mom.
A year after the release of his mixtape,”Trees and Truths,” Jenkins is releasing the prequel, “The Water[s].” Check out an exclusive Juice premiere of his latest “The Water[s]” single, “Who Else.”
“‘Waters’ is almost a prequel to ‘Trees,'” Jenkins explains to The Juice. “Water is synonymous with the truth; You need it to wake up, progress and get the most out of life and find the true quality of happiness. Me [and] people in general have false ideas of what makes you happy and what it means to be successful. To say water is synonymous with the truth is really broad and I take advantage of that. I talk about a lot of different things, but I try to stay centered with coined phrases [of] water. I use all the double meanings of water and expand on them.”
“It’s about my every day life. It’s a display of me,” he continues to say of “The Water[s]” which drops on June 24.
His gripping lyricism may not be as digestible to some as it is for others, but he still doesn’t let the possibility compromise his creativity. “There have been songs where I think: ‘Maybe I should break that down a bit more.’ You don’t ever want to be too preachy or preach at people. I try to include myself when saying, ‘Maybe I should change this.’ That’s why in the ‘Martyrs’ video I hang myself. I’m a part of this culture. I recognize where we are and the state of society. I try to take a stand. I use real life experiences and the questions that I have. I do think about it a lot of. I ask, ‘Is it too much?’ But, I don’t let it hold me back.”
While Jenkins’ talent attracts major labels – whom he’s “open to talking” with – he delves in conversations with two other Chicago rappers/friends, Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper. “I go to them for advice and I learn from their progression,” he says of Mensa and Chance, who also appear on Jenkins’ “Crossroads.” “I talk to them a lot, like for example, we had a conversation on what is a mixtape vs. an album? If I release a mixtape and its all original music and pushed and brought out to the best of our ability just like a album would be pushed and brought out, because it’s free it’s not an album? No. He (Chance) introduced that idea to me. I never really thought about it like that before.”