Mick Jenkins Concert ReviewDonovan Burtan , Hip Hop , Malik Shaheed , Mick Jenkins , Montreal , Music , Review
Mick Jenkins had a job to do when he stepped onto the Blue Dog stage this week at his free “Spread Love” Pop-up show in Montreal. Fresh off of a show at Toronto’s North by Northeast, Jenkins quickly announced a last-minute show through twitter on Monday of this week. The bar was packed from 10 pm to the moment Jenkins began around midnight. Trap music was belted by the anxious crowd leading to intense heat and anticipation meaning that Jenkins had to deliver a killer opening number. Jenkins’ fast flows and infectious voice translated perfectly to the live setting immediately making up for any level of impatience in the room. His supportive crowd was there for everything, excitedly jumping up and down throughout each song.
Jenkins has constantly expressed his love for the city of Montreal. In an interview with Hot New Hip Hop*, Jenkins spoke about the artistic similarities between Chicago and Montreal: “it just reminded me of Chicago. You know Chicago’s going through a big music renaissance right now, and Montreal I feel like is doing the same on the production and art side. I was out there often. (Lilah)” On his appropriately named “514,” he weaves together bars about St. Laurent and Montreal’s food and arts communities. A Montreal crowd is always going to be willing to show some hometown pride so in retrospect, it would be fair to say that “my French getting too clean/customs is routine/eating hella poutine” was the most well received line of the night. Jenkins’ deep love for the city made his show intimate and personal especially considering how close together everyone at the venue was.
Although the show served as a hype generating tool for his next album, Jenkins left room for introspection and spreading his message of love. Over the course of the evening, Jenkins constantly re-iterated two viciously positive phrases; “drink more water” and “Spread Love.” The night was not intended on being rowdy for no reason, this hyped up setting is just Jenkins’ selected medium. From song to song themes of relationships, family, and home were continuously touched upon. On “Jazz” he showcased his knowledge outside of hip hop by name-dropping a bunch of jazz musicians (i.e. Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck). Lyrics like “We can talk about some real shit, tell me how you feel” gave insight to Jenkins’ personal life. Another significant moment happened when Jenkins was revealing one of his new songs before his finale. He said something along the lines of “listen first then we can jam” signifying that he had put a lot of thought into the lyrics with the hope that people would be willing to pay attention to them. A good rap show should yield meaningful moments of lyricism on top of energy and excitement and Jenkins truly delivered on both fronts.
Since becoming a big voice in the rap game with his ferocious singles, mixtapes, and Chance the Rapper feature, Jenkins has been prepping the world for his upcoming album. Based on his show, big things are in his future. It should come as no surprise if he moves up the ladder from free-mixtape, internet sensation to internationally recognized artist in with the release of his first full-length LP this year.
Article by Donovan Burtan
*the Hot New Hip hop article in which is written by Rose Lilah; it can be found here
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