Mick Jenkins lights up the spotlight on ‘Elephants at Home’

Mick Jenkins’ third studio album, Elephants in the house, Tackling issues that plague his relationship with others, establishing a relationship between him and the world. Throughout the album, Chicago explores the unspoken barriers of MC’s deft flow and great delivery in his personal and professional life. At some point, Jenkins himself emerges as the title elephant – an unsung giant in a very-small box, trying to learn from the silent confusion of everyone else in the house.

Jenkins’ rise to fame came with the release of his 2014 mixtape Water)টিA submerged conceptual piece that proves his point with artists like Nonam, Saba and Chance the Rapper as Chicago flourishes with vibrant, innovative rappers. Jenkins undertook two more projects to explore the lyrical dense landscape of his breakout tapes, filtering his messages through metaphors around Water, Ginger Al, and “The Healing Component” (THC).

Elephants in the house, In turn, highlights some ideas from Jenkins’ critically acclaimed second studio album, A piece of man (2018), Gill Scott-Heron-inspired has plunged deep into the conflict of his identity and personal history. “Reflection,” perhaps the weakest moment on the album, explores Jenkins ’relationship with his estranged father, celebrates his self-awareness, and criticizes his father’s lack. “Put a mirror on one face – he will run,” he jerked to the chorus of the song. “Put that mirror close to my face / I didn’t run away, I ran to the place,” he rapped, pointing to the cover. A piece of man, Where he stands with his reflection divided into pieces of glass.

Beat selection continues to be an important weapon in Jenkins’ arsenal, as he lists productions from Saba, Lofail, Thelonius Martin and Monte Booker on the album. Like his 2019 EP Circus, Elephants in the house Offers more uniform spread of instrumental than past project soundscape. Submerged in its mixtape, completely away from the underwater distortion, the minimalist grooves of the album are less distinctive but perhaps more suited to Jenkins ’transferred lyrical style.

“Scotty Pipen”, the album’s final single, sets a new tune for Jenkins as he apologizes for the mistakes he made in his relationship with his wife for a mournful guitar sample, echoing the title metaphor in its chorus: “I’ll never win it on my own. , Without you. ” “Gucci tried to tell me” is the album’s delightful opponent, where he sings “Lost in the sauce / and that sauce is yours” on a warm, fun ditch.

At the same time, Jenkins’ familiar powers are on full display. The lead single “Introduction” has a boastful flow that always saves a track (see “P’s & Q’s”) Waves[s], “Daniels Bloom” launched Healing ingredients, Turn on “same ol” Circus), But he also released a bouncy new stream for the album highlight “Steve Arm”, featuring a spoken word portion from Chicago’s “Performance Artist” Ainde Cartman. Activism has long been a prominent theme in Jenkins’ music, returning to Strange Fruit-Sampling “Martyr.” Water), Or “11,” he recorded as a response to the failure of a grand jury to indict Officer Daniel Pantalio for the murder of Eric Garner. In “Things You Can Die While Black” Jenkins uses the theme of the private space album to highlight the ways in which police violence brings death to the most mundane rituals of black people.

Overall, Elephants in the house The idea lands somewhere between the piece and the exhibition, balancing an array of new and familiar styles. As he navigates the emotional distance between his relationships, Jenkins explores and refines the strategy that first introduced him to the fertile lands of his hometown of Chicago. Seven years after his success, he has become one of the game’s best writers – but instead of a big fish in a small pond, he’s just showing up to grow.

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