Mick Jenkins is a unique voice in Chicago's still-thriving young rap scene. That's partly because he's not from Chicago. Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Mick moved to Chicago when he nine years old, and returned to 'bama for his college years. He's an outsider in Chicago, but the city's influences can still be heard in his raps--somewhere between the jazzy poetics of Chance the Rapper and the unforgiving intensity of the drill scene. With a hint of southern cadence, it's difficult to pin his voice to a particular region, and that's Mick's biggest asset--his voice.
Mick is only 23, and his street-level observations show a perceptiveness far beyond his years. He doesn't just have great stories, though; his use of metaphor, his ear for melody, and the stunning clarity of his voice make him a master storyteller. Last year's The Water(s) was met with universal acclaim and placed number five on our Hottest Mixtapes Of 2014. He still hasn't released an album, but with production on The Water(s) coming from the likes of DJ Dahi and Statik Selektah, we'd do just fine with another mixtape.