Mick Jenkins first hit my radar with the release of his phenomenal mixtape The Waters, which showcased a brilliant young lyricist capable of being both socially astute and undeniably clever. As his discography grew, Mick quietly developed into one of Chicago's most profound rappers, despite never quite reaching the commercial success of some of his peers. Despite that, you can always count on Mick Jenkins to deliver quality material, and his latest track "A Layover" is no exception.
It's been a minute since Mick delivered a new project, though he did come through with a few loosies in the interim - "Margarine" with Ottawa's Training Season and the Multatto Beats produced "Guilty Automatic" were his most recent drops. On "A Layover," Mick continues where both tracks left off, going in over some dark, hazy production courtesy of THEMPeople; RZA's aesthetic with Dilla's bounce. While Mick has dabbled in a more soulful sound in the past, there is something about his baritone voice and imposing presence that acquaints itself well over a more ominous sound. I hope his recent sonic choices continue when it comes time to hop in the booth for his upcoming album.
"A Layover" showcases some of Mick Jenkin's greatest strength as a writer. Over the course of the two-minute joint, the young rapper weaves an entertaining and tense narrative about trying to cross the border, loaded with themes of class disparity, racial prejudice, and the peaks and plights of being young, successful, and black. Jenkins delivers the narrative with a poet's charisma, with lines like "the driver hit me with an enchanté." Fans know that Mick's consistently finding inventive ways to deliver his thoughts, and it seems as if he's still coming into his own as a writer. And when he peaks, the industry might not be able to contain him.
First class got em lookin' like who this motherfucka?
I likely drummer before rapper, I like to say writer before both
They won't give me my respect, it's more smoke they request