Few things are as incredible as the high of a well-received and critically-acclaimed body of work. But what happens when the hype dies down?
“I came in the game and I was new, so I was affected by the hype,” Jenkins told writer Dan Hyman. “But when the hype dies down, what is there? It really comes back to the personal… That’s why that shit bleeds through the way it does.”
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Following the acclaim that he earned in 2014 for his commercial debut mixtape The Water[s], as he notes, Mick dove into the person. In 2016, he released a love-themed and dense record, The Healing Component, delving as deeply into a singular emotion as a single person could. His most recent effort, Pieces of a Man is also dedicated to the personal, per the title and also the bare lyricism that drives the record.
In fact, it is Jenkins’ high self-awareness that keeps him from moping during his post-hype career arc. “I’m so good,” he added. “I’m so content. Because what’s there to complain about? Because you never won an award? Because you were never on TV? Because you never broke through? Because BET didn’t recognize you? Fuck that!”
Existing without the need for external validation, Jenkins is likely in the best emotional state of his career. Where artists are often obsessed with numbers and appearances, Mick Jenkins’ approach stands as a lesson to all creatives: keep it personal, and fuck the numbers.
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