By Thomas Stevens
Jayson Mick Jenkins, a conscious hip-hop artist based on the southside of Chicago, Illinois, is returning with his fifth album “The Patience” on August 18th, 2023. Even though this is his fifth album, it is also the fourth project in the “THE” series. Mick Jenkins created a tetralogy of projects woven together melodically and through its story. The “THE” albums consist of The Water[s], The Healing Component, The Circus and The Patience. The Water[s] is Jenkins’ debut album and the beginning of tetralogy. Let us take a deep dive into the past waters before the new release.
“The Water[s] dropped on August 12, 2014, and contained 15 tracks full of iridescent-like instrumentals combined with thought-provoking lyrics. Jenkins is no slouch with his pen, his lyricism is one of the most prolific in hip hop and he displays this from the title alone. The “Waters” is a metaphor for the truth and Jenkins constantly weaves the two words together throughout the album, as well as making nods to water-related objects.
The introduction track, “Shipwrecked,” is a very melancholic track to begin with. The instrumental begins with the sound effects of waves panning left and right through the headphones alluding to the title of the album and the song. The Mind is one of the few featured artists on the project and happens to be the first voice we hear on the album. “Witnessed the end of our fair lady/ a million pieces lost at sea/ ruined is the crew, that’s setting sail with me” The Mind’s lyrics depict a metaphorical shipwreck because of the lack of water (truth) today. The instrumental progresses more by layering the sounds of waves with a nice simple percussion section including kicks and snares. Mick Jenkins comes from behind the curtains and starts to emcee with a poetic flow. Jenkins’ vocals bring a more poetic and intentional cadence than normal. The lyrics expand on the themes of the intro while adding a personal experience to it. Near the middle of the track, a transition takes place. Jenkins passes the baton to Mind, singing a few more bars before the instrumental gets flipped over. The sound suddenly turns more aggressive in nature, adding more bass to the kicks and punch to the snares. Jenkins delivers another verse with more intensity and swag.
“Comfortable” is the fifth song on the 15-track album. It is my personal favorite on the track list and to me it serves as a break from all the lyrically deep songs. I am not saying that “Comfortable” does not have its fair share of deep meanings and sneaky punchlines, but it is more of a feel-good song. The soothing sample is the foundation for hard-hitting live drums, the duality of the sonics is what makes this song amazing. Jenkins raps just as confidently as ever, as he asks his audience to “Go and get a sip of this water let your seat back, relax, get comfortable get comfortable, get comfortable.” As Jenkins provides his audience with ways to get to the truth, he also wants people to relax and not take it so seriously. Noname features on this track with a flow that is impossible to replicate as it is clever and witty.
The Water[s] is an amazing one-hour listen front to back with plenty of content and lyrics to decipher. Be on the lookout for the closing chapter of the “THE” series “The Patience” coming August 18th, 2023.
Written by: Preethi Mangadu