words by Eamon Whalen
Even though he can go toe-toe, bar-for-bar with the elite names of his genre, Mick Jenkins has ambitions as an artist beyond just simply rapping really, really well like he did on his breakout project "The Water(s)." Though rapping that well should never be discounted, his projects since have shown an increased attention to crafting more melodic, layered full-fledged song. He gave listeners a brief preview with "Wave(s)," but just today dropped "Drowning," the second single from his upcoming proper debut album "The Healing Component," due out September 23rd.
Produced by Toronto instrumental trio BADBADNOTGOOD, "Drowning" is sure to surprise listeners expecting the same syllable-stacking (though there's some of that too) of even his more recent songs like "The Artful Dodger" and "Healing Component" lead single "Spread Love." The video (directed by Nathan R. Smith) isn't only impressive for it's sheer cinematic quality, but for the gravity of it's imagery. Jenkins boldly links America's ugly past with America's ugly present, singing Eric Garner's tragic last words as he plays the part of a runaway, and eventually rebellious slave. Not dissimilar to J. Cole's video for G.O.M.D, the depiction of slavery in "Drowning" reverses the false but scarily prevalent narrative that their ancestors were passive and complicit in their bondage.