Mick Jenkins, Smino, Kweku Collins | Thalia Hall | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Mick Jenkins

Mick Jenkins

Ryan Lowry

Mick Jenkins, Smino, Kweku Collins 

When: Thu., Oct. 20, 9 p.m. 2016
Price: $10, $3 with RSVP
When Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins played the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer he snuck in “Grown Ass Kid,” a bubbly number he and Alex Wiley cut with Chance the Rapper for the latter’s Coloring Book. On it Chance raps, “Everybody can say it out loud / My favorite rapper is a Christian rapper,” a line that could easily apply to Jenkins. Both MCs zero in on themes of religion and love, though Jenkins puts the latter front and center on his debut album, last month’s The Healing Component (released on his Free Nation label). Jenkins is quick to reveal that he views love as life’s elemental ingredient, and that for him religion is a prism through which he understands the importance of imparting it unto others. He told Billboard, “[Love is] aligned with my Christianity and my beliefs and what God’s purpose was on this Earth in the face of some of the most hateful things.” The length and stylistic breadth of Jenkins’s album has as much to do with the rapper’s bold bars—which he stuffs, but never bloats, with layered ideas—as it does with the album’s pacing. He sprinkles The Healing Component with audio clips from an unidentified interview, and as he contemplates, say, his experiences with romantic love, he creates space to allow his thoughts to sit with the listener. Tonight’s show—and Jenkins’s fall tour—is presented by Red Bull Sound Select. (Full disclosure: I’m a freelance contributor to Red Bull Music Academy radio, which hosts my Chicago-centric monthly program, The Deepest Dish.)
— Leor Galil



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