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Love is Mick Jenkins' Healing Component: “It’s the Fire We’re Trying to Kindle”

In a new interview the Chicago buzzmaker discusses the motivation behind his debut album.
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Today (September 7), Facebook Live was an all-Chicago affair. At the Chicago-based menswear shop Fat Tiger Workshop, Fake Shore Drive founder Andrew Barber hosted a Q&A with Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins for Red Bull Sound Select. The two discussed Jenkins’ forthcoming album The Healing Component, his A Quest for Love tour with Chicago-via-St. Louis rapper Smino, and broke down the concept behind THC.

Indeed, love is what THC largely hinges on, but for Jenkins, that doesn’t mean solely romantic love. He’s really talking about the entire scope of love, something he’s hoping to spread while on tour.

“I think it’s very easy to fall into a negative perspective and to just be a hater,” he says, laughing. “I think it’s a very simple way to inspire people to be a lot kinder and loving and generous and, hopefully, those feelings from the [tour] spread love,” giving a nod to the first single from the album “Spread Love.”

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Love is Jenkins’ healing component. “It’s the fire we’re trying to kindle across the country. We’re looking for love.”

Another one of the project’s spins is in the title itself, a play on words for the psychoactive chemical THC found in marijuana, a drug that the Chicago emcee admits helps him better manage life. It’s also something he references in the opening line of the BadBadNotGood-produced track “Drowning,” “We gon' need some drugs for the situation,” addressing the daily struggles that his musician, activist, and writer friends face while on the front lines, in their advocacy for change.

“I smoke weed — and not completely, but part of that is to cope. So that’s what that line is speaking to… the seriousness and the heaviness of those who are burdening themselves with doing something about it. And the ways that they may need to cope, right or wrong.”

On the song’s outro, he interchanges love and drugs, highlighting both themes — and that love itself is also a drug.

The Healing Component is slated for release on September 23.

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