In honor of Mick Jenkins’ birthday today, we want to further familiarize those who may not be acquainted with the Chicago emcee. We take a look back and reflect on some of his highlights and successes throughout his career as we wish him a happy 25th birthday!
In Mick’s early stages we got to see projects such as the “The Mickstape” as well as “The Story of Mickalascage”. In April of 2013 Mick released “Trees & Truths”, a mixtape that would quickly become a local favorite. His complex lyricism and biblical metaphors alongside the jazz-influenced production created a solid body of work that would eventually broaden Mick’s buzz.
Shortly after the tape, Mick collaborated with local Chicago artists Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa to bring us “Cross Roads”. This track was not only a constantly played hit across the city but also helped Mick showcase his talent to a wider audience that would soon take him to the next level.
By early 2014 Mick Jenkins had established a solid foundation and was receiving significant attention. In July, Mick released single and visual “Martyrs” which gave insight on the harsh truths of society while keeping a catchy hook. The single would later catch the attention of Timbaland, along with others, who would reach out and praise Mick for his musical talents. On August 12th Mick continued to convey his message to the people with the release of “The Waters” that concentrated on the idea of comparing water to the truth of life. Features on the project included Joey Bada$$, NoName Gypsy, Saba Pivot and theMIND. The tape would serve as Mick’s breakout project, gathering a huge base of national attention as well as being critically acclaimed.
The tape rocketed Mick to the next level in his rise to stardom. He later would give a strong debut performance at Lollapalooza in his hometown of Chicago in summer of 2015. This performance proved that Mick had his city behind him and was making significant strides as an artist. Shortly after, he announced that he would be going on tour in the fall on The Smoker’s Club Wide Roller’s Tour along with Method Man, Redman, B-Real, Trademark da Skydiver and Berner. After wrapping up The Smokers Club Tour, in February of 2015, Mick would go on his own first official tour with Kirk Knight, NoName and Saba and then join Joey Bada$$ and Denzel Curry later in the summer for their World Domination Tour.
In July of 2015 Mick Jenkins announced an EP titled “Wave[s]”, which was released on August 21st, 2015. On his sophomore project Mick brought a flow between “loud art trap” (as Mick calls it) and a “pop-trap” fusion throughout the tape. The overall sound of the project was derived and inspired by what Mick and his producers were feeling in the studio at that exact moment which went on to create a fresh and authentic sound once the project was completed. He also collaborated with painter/graphic designer Hayveyah McGowan to pair each track on the project with its own unique painting. The artwork stood as a solution to personal criticism Mick received on “The Waters”. Mick held the listening session for “Wave[s]” at Wallplay in NYC with a curated fan Q&A.
With all of Mick’s successes and the accolades for his music thus far its hard to imagine he’s just turning 25. With his highly anticipated debut album, [T]he [H]ealing [C]omponent on the way sometime this year, it looks like Mick is just getting started.