New Reels: ‘Drowning’ by Mick Jenkins feat. BADBADNOTGOOD

The upcoming Chicago rapper collaborates with Canada’s BBNG on his latest single which comes with this thought-provoking video.

Mick Jenkins has been building an underground reputation for the last couple of years as an intelligent, creative and socially-conscious rapper via a series of mixtapes and one EP Wave[s] which was released in August of last year. This month sees the release of his debut LP The Healing Component from which this new single is taken.

As for BADBADNOTGOOD, they’re a Canadian three piece specialising in intrumental music that covers an experimental area in and between free jazz, hip-hop, electronica, and beyond. The two have collaborated previously and clearly bring the best out of each other as evidenced here. “Drowning” is, for the most part, sparse and has an almost Tom Waits-like groove, with Jenkins singing, amongst other things, “I can’t breathe”, the last words of Eric Garner.

Coupled with the video, directed by Nathan R Smith, this can be seen as a powerful commentary on current racial issues in America. Jenkins features in an allegorical tale of a black man left to drown by two white men, only to escape, rescue another drownee, and ultimately find himself in a position of revenge before choosing to rise above inflicting the same savagery as was inflicted upon him. I say allegorical because there would seem to be an ‘en eye for an eye leaves everyone blind’ message contained within that is surely well-heeded in these troubled times.

Ultimately, this bodes extremely well for the aformentione album and marks Jenkins out as an artist worth paying attention to. In an age where so much hip-hop has become a self-obsessed vacuum, devoid of meaning, here’s a guy who it seems has something to say, and for that reason we should definitely pay attention.

The Healing Component is released on September 23rd on the Cinematic label.

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