Mick Jenkins (rapper)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mick Jenkins
Jenkins performing in 2015
Jenkins performing in 2015
Background information
Birth nameJayson Mick Jenkins
Born (1991-04-16) April 16, 1991 (age 29)
Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Associated acts

Jayson Mick Jenkins (born April 16, 1991) is an American hip hop recording artist. Based in Chicago, he is signed to Cinematic Music Group. His debut album, The Healing Component, was released on September 23, 2016, followed by Pieces of a Man on October 26, 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Jenkins was born in Huntsville, Alabama. Following his parents divorce, he moved to Chicago with his mother and sister when he was 9 years old. As a child, Jenkins was heavily influenced by his parents' musical preferences. His mother listened to Neo-soul, while his father enjoyed contemporary black gospel music. When Jenkins was just 17 years old, he began going to open-mic events at Young Chicago Authors, which engages young writers. Mick Jenkins attended Hirsch Metropolitan High, where he began participating in mock trials for the school's law academy in 2008. Following this opportunity, he went on to become a courthouse intern at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. Jenkins ended his law studies in 2009, when he became an intern at Sir & Madame, a clothing store, and briefly became an aspiring fashion mogul. Later in 2009, he returned to Huntsville to attend Oakwood University, and later served 34 days for a misdemeanour charge.[1] Oakwood is a private college that is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. In Jenkins's sophomore year at the school, he entered a rap competition, where the prize was a pair of Beats By Dre headphones. Jenkins did not win the competition, but states that it led him to discover a passion in making music. Jenkins ultimately dropped out of Oakwood after his father lost his job at the school, meaning tuition was no longer affordable. Jenkins claims to have dropped five mixtapes while in college, though he later disregarded them and removed them from internet access. The Mickstape and The Pursuit of HappyNess: The Story of MickalasCage, however, are still available.[2] In 2012, Jenkins plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana[3] and a BAC(Blood Alcohol Content) of .05 while driving.[citation needed] He consequently served 34 days in jail in Alabama, before returning to Chicago to focus on music.[3]

Musical career[edit]

2012–2013: Career beginnings, Trees & Truths, and mixtapes[edit]

On January 13, 2012, Jenkins released his first official mixtape, The Mickstape, followed by The Pursuit of HappyNess: The Story of Mickalascage in August 2012.[4] These consecutive mixtapes included involvement from several record producers, such as After the Smoke, Swisha House, Chris Calor, Quincy Banks, Chuck Inglish, Vanilla, and Dijon, among others. During 2012, Jenkins returned to Chicago and joined the YCA (Young Chicago Authors),[5] poetry collective, where he performed his first a cappella verse.[citation needed] This resulted in attention from local recording artist, and a leader of Chicago's Pivot Gang collective, Saba. The two then collaborated on a track, called Heaux, which was meant for a Mick Jenkins project, but ended up featuring on Saba's mixtape GETCOMFORTable (2012).[citation needed] Jenkins also became a member of a hip-hop group, called Free Nation. Other members include Prop, J-Stock, Burman, and Maine The Saint. Free Nation is "a hip hop group that promotes creative thought without accepting narrow views imposed by the powers that be".[6]

In April 2013, Jenkins released his Trees & Truths mixtape.[7] The tape quickly became a local favorite, featuring acid jazz-influenced production, biblical allegory, and his lacerating lyricism. Only few months after its release, a collaboration between him and fellow Chicago rappers Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa came in the form of the single Crossroads, which garnered both attention and praise.[8]

2014–2015: The Water[s] and Wave[s][edit]

In July 2014, Jenkins received significant attention after the release of his single and a visual of Martyrs, which juxtaposed insight on harsh societal truths with a catchy hook. The thought-provoking single held messages on gun violence, the fight between his conscience and new-found success, and his turbulent childhood in Chicago.[9][10] Martyrs led prominent figures in the hip-hop community such as Timbaland, to reach out and praise Jenkins for his musical talent and intricate lyricism. On August 12, Jenkins released his project, The Water[s], to critical acclaim. Considered by many to be Jenkins' breakout project, The Water[s] is centered on the idea of comparing water to life's truths.[11][12][13] Shortly after releasing the project, Jenkins announced he would be touring during the fall on the 2014 Smoker's Club World Wide Roller's Tour alongside Method Man, Redman, B-Real, Trademark da Skydiver, and Berner.[14] His first official tour took place in February 2015 with Kirk Knight, Noname and Saba. He also joined Joey Bada$$ and Denzel Curry for Phase 1 of their World Domination Tour.[citation needed]

On July 20, 2015, Mick Jenkins announced his Wave[s] EP, which was released on August 21, 2015.[15] Mick Jenkins began streaming his new project in full via NPR's First Listen on August 13, 2015. Wave[s] is the follow up to Jenkins' critically acclaimed 2014 mixtape, The Water[s]. Jenkins kept the collaborators on Wave[s] confined to those within his inner circle. The project features the likes of Jean Deaux, Saba, TheMind and popular producers such as Kaytranada. Jenkins also accompanied French producer STWO on his North American tour from the end of August through the beginning of October.[16]

2016: The Healing Component[edit]

On August 17, 2016, Mick Jenkins released the first single from his highly anticipated debut album, Spread Love. On August 25, 2016, Jenkins released his second single of the album, called Drowning, which features an instrumental performed by Toronto-based jazz quartet BADBADNOTGOOD.[17] The song has a direct reference to the death of Eric Garner, a black man who was strangled by police. The album, The Healing Component, was released on September 23, 2016. Many of the songs on the albums feature intros and outros with a dialogue about love with a female narrator, his sister.[18] The Healing Component, abbreviated THC, explores the theme of love throughout the album. From self-love to romantic experience, he juxtaposes different forms love can take. Jenkins did something similar on The Water[s], exploring the concept of truth.[original research?]

2017–present: Or More EP series and Pieces of a Man[edit]

On November 21, 2017, Mick Jenkins released Or More; The Anxious, the first mixtape in a series of projects Jenkins describes as "a project series involving musical ideas and concepts that are currently inspiring the album's creation process."[19] The second mixtape in the series, Or More; The Frustration, was released on February 24, 2018.[20] On October 26, his second studio album, Pieces of a Man, was released. The album's first single, "Understood" was released on October 12, 2018.[21] The second single "Padded Locks", featuring veteran Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah, was released on October 21, 2018.[22] The album also prominently pays homage to Gil Scott-Heron's 1971 album of the same name.[citation needed]

In March 2019, Jenkins was featured on the single "Cold" with Brooklyn Michelle.[23] Additionally later in the year on September 18, Jenkins released the single “Percy” featuring fellow Chicago-based rapper Qari produced by greenSLLIME, also from Chicago.[24]

On January 3, 2020, he released the single "Carefree" from the EP The Circus, released on January 10, 2020.[25]

While opening for EARTHGANG on their Welcome to Mirrorland Tour, Jenkins announced an album coming in 2020.


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with album details and selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions


The Healing Component
  • Released: September 23, 2016
  • Label: Cinematic
  • Format: CD, digital download
110 9 6
Pieces of a Man
  • Released: October 26, 2018
  • Label: Cinematic
  • Format: CD, digital download


Title Album details
  • Released: August 21, 2015
  • Format: digital download
Or More; The Anxious
  • Released: November 22, 2017
  • Format: digital download
Or More; The Frustration
  • Released: February 24, 2018
  • Format: digital download
The Circus
  • Released: January 10, 2020
  • Format: digital download


Title Album details
The Mickstape
  • Released: January 13, 2012
  • Format: Digital Download
The Pursuit of HappyNess: The Story of Mickalascage.
  • Released: August 5, 2012
  • Format: Digital Download
Trees & Truths
  • Released: April 25, 2013
  • Format: Digital Download
The Water[s]
  • Released: August 12, 2014
  • Format: Digital Download


List of singles, with showing year released, peak chart positions and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Rap
"Spread Love" 2016 The Healing Component
(with Alex Wiley and Calez)
2018 non-album single
"Bruce Banner" non-album single
(with Curci)
non-album single
"What Am I to Do" non-album single
"Understood" Pieces of a Man
"frontstreet" 2020 non-album single


  1. ^ Charity, Justin (August 19, 2015). "Mick Jenkins Is the Reluctant Voice of Conscious Rap". Complex. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  2. ^ Galil, Leor. "Mick Jenkins raps because black lives matter". Chicago Reader. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kot, Greg. "Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins figures out how to rise above". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  4. ^ The Pursuit of HappyNess: The Story of Mickalascage. | Mick Jenkins. Mickjenkins.bandcamp.com. Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  5. ^ Mick Jenkins Talks 'The Water[s]' Mixtape & Premieres 'Who Else' Song: Exclusive. Billboard (May 6, 2014). Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "Mick Jenkins – Cinematic Music Group". cinematicworldwide.com. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  7. ^ Mick Jenkins – Trees And Truths Mixtape – Stream & Download. Datpiff.com (April 25, 2013). Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  8. ^ Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa Meet Mick Jenkins at the ‘Cross Roads’. SPIN. Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  9. ^ Premiere: Mick Jenkins & Supa BWE "Treat Me (Caucasian)" and Q&A Archived September 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Mass Appeal (June 26, 2014). Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  10. ^ "Thank God For The Water[s]: Speaking With Mick Jenkins". potholesinmyblog.com.
  11. ^ Mick Jenkins: The Water(s) | Album Reviews. Pitchfork (August 29, 2014). Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  12. ^ Mick Jenkins Impresses With Sophomore Mixtape ‘The Water[s]‘ – XXL. Xxlmag.com. Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  13. ^ The 17 Best Quotables From Mick Jenkins – The Water(s)WatchLOUD Archived August 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. WatchLOUD. Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  14. ^ Method Man And Redman To Headline 5th Annual Smoker's Club Tour – XXL. Xxlmag.com. Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  15. ^ [[1] Mick Jenkins Announces Wave[s] Mixtape, Shares "Get Up Get Down" | News | Pitchfork]. M.pitchfork.com (July 20, 2015). Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  16. ^ Hip Hop News, Interviews and Music: Allhiphop.com " Stream Mick Jenkins "Wave[s]" EP. Allhiphop.com (August 13, 2015). Retrieved on September 23, 2015.
  17. ^ "Mick Jenkins – Drowning feat. BADBADNOTGOOD".
  18. ^ "In These Heavy Times, Mick Jenkins Wants Us To Start Really Talking About Love". The FADER. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  19. ^ "or more; the anxious". SoundCloud. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  20. ^ "or more; the frustration". SoundCloud. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  21. ^ "Mick Jenkins - "Understood" (Prod. Kaytranada)". Stereogum. October 12, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  22. ^ "Mick Jenkins & Ghostface Killah Spread The Message On "Padded Locks"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  23. ^ "Brooklyn Michelle - Cold ft. Mick Jenkins - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  24. ^ Jenkins, Mick. "Mick Jenkins - "Percy" ft. Qari [Prod. by greenSLLIME]". YouTube. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  25. ^ Renshaw, David. "Mick Jenkins announces The Circus project, shares new song". The Fader. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  26. ^ "Mick Jenkins – Chart history – Billboard". www.billboard.com.
  27. ^ "Mick Jenkins – R&B/HH Chart history – Billboard". www.billboard.com.
  28. ^ "Mick Jenkins – Rap Chart history – Billboard". www.billboard.com.