Published Aug 19, 2015Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins manages to balance absurdity with realism and focus with exploration on his latest release. Recognized as one of the most promising young lyricists on the come-up, the 24-year-old rapper's long-anticipated nine-track mixtape is stuffed with buoyancy and vibrant lyricism. It also signifies a shift in focus for the expressive phenom, which his persistent fan base may not have been anticipating.
After making a decision to take a break from the heavy concepts and social agenda of his acclaimed breakout mixtape The Water[s], Jenkins taps into a more sensual and experimental lane here, romping with melody while tackling newfangled relationship-based topics. Despite showing his softer and more spiritual side this time around, Wave[s] still features the quality penmanship and polygonal flows that Mick is respected for. While "Your Love" enlists funk-flavoured production from Montreal's Kaytranada, "The Giver" is a spacey love song that stretches the rapper's choral capabilities with a sweet hook. And while "Ps & Qs" may not fit in cohesively with the rest of the tape, the previously released single remains a lyrical triumph.
Wave[s] is a clear indication that Jenkins is expanding his sound and stepping away from expectation as he prepares his debut album, The Healing Component. But in the meantime, he's established himself as an artist with even more to offer than many predicted. (Cinematic)