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Album Review: Mick Jenkins ‘The Healing Component’


Never heard of Mick Jenkins? The 25-year-old Chicago-based rapper broke into the hip hop scene in 2012 with the release of his first ever mixtape ‘The Mickstape’. He has since released two mixtapes and an EP, worked closely with Method Man, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, and Joey Bada$$, and recently delivered the goods with his debut album ‘The Healing Component’! Following his 2014 mixtape ‘Water[s]’ and his 2015 EP ‘Wave[s]’, ‘The Healing Component’ further explores his clearly limitless creative boundaries! The album features collaborations with Themind, Badbadnotgood, Kaytranada, Sango, and Noname (just to name a few!), and with a much more positive outlook on his world,  Jenkins seems to have ditched the negative persona for which he’s known.

The self-titled opening track features Jenkins’ deep raps flowing perfectly with the electro-hip hop beats. The soft piano melodies and supporting horns tie the song together perfectly and set an upbeat tone for the album to follow.

The upbeat tempo continues in Spread Love with the addition of a moody, melodic soundscape. Jenkins delivers both rapping and vocals in this electric track all while maintaining the album’s positive undertone. As the lead single of ‘The Healing Component’, this track is set to be a favourite!

Set in a slightly slower time signature is Daniels Bloom, a track which Jenkins says was inspired by an argument with a friend. Jenkins raps in the catchy hook, “They say it ain’t no love here/But I do see blood, tears, and sweat/I bet that you could pray for me/Just holla at me I could pray for you”.

Strange Love opens with the familiar healing component-centric dialogue featured throughout the album, followed by a psychedelic twist on Jenkins’ fusion of electronica and hip hop. The smooth vocals of Canadian band Badbadnotgood feature on Drowning, an instrumental collaboration which depicts the story of a runaway slave. The dynamic contrast between high and low vocals perfectly suits the track’s changing tempos.

Full of biblical references is Jenkins’ next track As Seen In Bethsaida. It’s in Bethsaida that Jesus supposedly fed an entire town with five loaves of bread, so the opening line, “You think I can love you like God love us?” seems a fitting starting point. The bass heavy tune will definitely be an album highlight for Jenkins fans!

Communicate delivers a funky twist on Jenkins’ signature sound with fresh raps, gorgeous vocals from Ravyn Lenae, and a fresh beat you’ll definitely want to move to! Jenkins elaborates on Lenae’s romantic lyrics, rapping “We can vibe, we can meditate/Bringing water, marijuana, we can medicate/So don’t you hesitate/Why don’t you ride with me”.

The quirky electronic vibes continue in 1000 Xans and Prosperity – two tracks which features unique synth beats and the flawless production skills of duo Themind. Next, the soulful hymn-styled opening of the album’s third single Fall Through demands attention straight away. The syncopated rhythm of Jenkins’ raps make this track a must-hear as he rhymes “Mirror, mirror on the wall/Who’s the most hated of them all/Most creative of them all/Who’s post-racial, who’s the most basic/Who despite that loved them all?”.

Rapper J-Stock lends his husky tone to Love, Robert Horry, a tune inkeeping with the upbeat theme of the album. Jenkins builds on his glass-half-full mentality through lyrics “Always moving with conviction even if they gon’ convict me/Yeah, they hit me with the sentence, all that did was teach me patience”.

Angels features the soulful sounds of Xavier Omar and Chicago female rapper Noname showcases her signature sassy yet smooth rhymes. The closing track F****d Up Outro (feat. Michael Anthony) rounds out the album with a perfect mashup of electronic soundscapes and bass-heavy beats. The soulful hook melody makes this track a top pick!

Overall, the album delivers a positive perspective on Mick Jenkins’ world and mostly upbeat tunes, a fresh change from the darker sounds Jenkins once produced. Jenkins is heading to Australia for St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival in 2017 so be sure to check out the rapping legend live and in the flesh! While you (impatiently!) wait, listen to Mick Jenkins’ Drowning (feat. Badbadnotgood) below!

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (16+)
Footscray Community Arts Centre And The River’s Edge, Melbourne
Hart’s Mill, Port Adelaide (16+)
Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney
Esplanade Reserve and West End, Fremantle

Get Tickets HERE


Album Rating: 4