Mick Jenkins is a powerful, uncompromising young hip-hop artist who has spent most of his life as a citizen of Chicago, Illinois. Born in Alabama in 1991, Jenkins first received widespread attention for his 2013 mixtape Trees and Truths and followed its success up with the gritty, politically-charged masterstroke, The Water[s], which many regarded as one of the finest albums of 2014. Working at a furious pace, Jenkins is back with an excellent and vibrant new release called Wave[s], which is out via Cinematic Music Group, and has prompted Jenkins to tour right across North America, including stops at Toronto’s the Hoxton on September 1 and Ottawa’s Ritual on September 2. Here, Mick and I talk about getting his hair done on the south side of Chicago, how violence in the city has been overblown, how American media outlets sensationalize violence, Chief Keef and drill music, scapegoating, being personally impacted by this violence, the story behind the explosive video for “Ps & Qs” and alliteration, director Nathan Smith, the state of the United States of America, the ways in which humans deliberately avoid solving catastrophic problems that are easy to fix, stories from the Bible and about Jesus Christ, the bathing suit, why the world is more evil, how Satan wants you to go to hell, trying to believe politicians, Republicans and Democrats and concepts of evil and good, the election campaign cycle, how the one percent controls the ninety-nine percent, the dynamic lyrical content of Wave[s], speaking about women, what relationships teach us about ourselves, the power of water, Feel[s], The Healing Component, when Ice Cube speaks on women and N.W.A., the rise of socially aware, sensitive rappers, liking Drake and getting over his origin story, being fine with people not always getting it, not changing, being a prolific artist, bringing Wave[s] to life on-stage, not being a lawyer or being politically engaged, the song “Your Love,” and then there was slumber.
Related links: mickjenkins.com cinematicmusicgroup.com vishkhanna.com