The struggles of the indie rapper have been well documented. Trying to make a career out of stringing words together over a beat is very, very difficult without a major label machine writing advance checks. There is one clear cut advantage, though.
You get to make exactly the music you want.
Last year, the wider hip-hop world was introduced to the powerful, thoughtful Mick Jenkins, a voice that has been running throughout speakers like rolling thunder. Sure, those of us who really tapped into Mick early were anticipating The Water[s], he was a Freestyle Series participant and DJBooth Top Prospect before the project dropped, but I don’t think even Mick predicted the outpouring of affection. In just a few short months he went from a virtual unknown to one of the most promising, young emcees in the game, a rapper who earned Best New Artist and Best Indie Album nominations.
Though The Water[s] has been in steady rotation for a year now (especially "Jazz") I’ve been looking forward to the follow up, Wave[s], since it was announced last month. I thought I would have to wait another week, but thanks to Mick and the fine folks at NPR, we can listen to Wave[s] right now!
Can Mick deliver now that there are some pretty high expectations? How does this sound compare to Water[s]? Is he still one of the leaders of the new school or should we temper our expectations? I won’t make any official proclamations until I have a chance to really listen, but after briefly running through the nine-track project I hear more color and a lighter, more enjoyable vibe. Will it stick like his debut? Only one way to find out…
STREAM WAVE(S) NOW unless you hate hip-hop, in which case don't worry about it. The album will be available for download August 21, and if you need a refresher or an introduction, why not start on his DJBooth artist page?
Now excuse me, I’m thirsty.
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]