Photo courtesy of Mick Jenkins
The Water[s] is conceptual in a unique way. The central theme of the album is water’s importance to life. To Jenkins, water is more than something to drink; it represents all the things that are no longer present in today’s youth. It is an allegory of the thoughts and actions of a young man who feels like the only rational person left in a changed world.
The album features a jazzy sound and a narrative lyrical style, often slipping between soft storytelling and aggressive sonic clashes. The two styles complement the vast array of topics covered on the project. Jenkins is highly personal, giving you a look inside his life and the things he has seen, be it scarring events from his childhood or his love for Montreal.
“Martyrs” is perhaps the most striking track, as a chilling sample of Nina Simone’s classic “Strange Fruit” backs Mick’s commentary on a corrupted youth lost in a world where their actions do not bear consequences.
Mick Jenkins may be new name, but in a world where hip-hop can get all too complacent, someone so hungry and talented is extremely refreshing—much like a cool drink of water.