Mick Jenkins - Wave[s] EP Review

Mick Jenkins has everything I look for in a rapper: a gift to make dope rhymes, a brain to put together a cohesive project and an ear to pick nice beats. I first heard of him when he released his mixtape "The Water[s]". If you haven't checked that out, go do it. It was an amazing, thought provoking experience that stood as one of 2014's best records. I had high expectations for "Wave[s]", and I'm happy to tell you that for the most part, this EP delivers what I wanted.

1. Alchemy
Jesus... what a start. First off, props to Lee Bannon for an amazing beat. Mick also deserves praises for murdering the beat. For real, great song. Mick spits a dope verse, using crazy flows. Everything came together perfectly to create one of my favorite intros of the year.

2. Slumber (feat. Saba & Sean Deaux)
Nice Song. Both Mick and Saba have dope, conscious verses. Sean Deaux also brings some nice vocals for the outro. My problems with the song: While I really like the soft beat and the trumpets/piano chords it had, I disliked the drums that played during the entire song. It was destracting and it kept the song from being great.

3. Get Up Get Down
This track is so weird. It really is. The first half feels like a Pharell song, meaning that it's super melodic and pop influenced. I actually really enjoy this first half. The drums and the melody go together like peanut butter and jelly. The second half turns the song into a dark, atmospheric moment, in which Mick spits a dope verse over some okay instrumentation. But to be honest, the second half felt out of place. I do appreciate Mick for experimenting with this one, as it worked for the most part.

4. Your Love
Another experimental song. The beat in this one is particularly interesting. It's definitely poppy, but it feels like it could easily be turned into a rap banger. It feels like a DJ Mustard pop beat. Mick kills his part. The small verses sound great with the beat, and melody is also great. Hook could be better though, as all the "loves" got a bit repetitive after the 5th listen. Having said that, if I heard this on the radio, I wouldn't be mad at all.

5. Piano
Such a chill, dope song. No specific concept or message. Just a great song. A nice beat, a cool verse and a catchy hook. Add the fact that the song is short and sweet, and I have nothing to complain about.

6. The Giver
This track is good vibes only. Unlike some of the other experimental songs in here, the beat didn't really get my attention. However, Mick kills the hook and verses. Good track.

7. 40 Below
This song reminded of 808's and Heartbreak. Might be the instrumental or the way Mick is singing, but it did. However, I'm not the biggest fan of this one. While I liked the concept of the song, Mick doesn't sound hungry, and the beat is not really anything special. I probably won't ever play this song again. Not horrible...just "meh".

8. P's & Q's
Right after my least favorite song of the project, I got my favorite one. I love this track. The simple, yet amazing guitar. The fact that for the most part, Mick spits a verse using only words that begin with a P or Q. Or, the fact that the verse still made sense despise its restrictions. Whatever it may be, this is the one.

9. Perception (feat. The Mind)
Super dope track. It almost was my favorite track. I wish the song had more of Mick rapping, instead of the intros/outros. Still, when Mick starts spitting everything is fine. The beat is experimental and disturbing. Great finish to the EP.

Verdict: What do I love about Wave[s]? It's different from The Water[s]. You've never heard Mick over these beats, using these deliveries and concepts. It's original and I appreciate that he experimented. However, the fact that it is so different might be this EP's biggest flaw. It's not as deep, interesting and cohesive as the rest of his discography. It's an EP though. I see Wave[s] as an entrée, one that leaves me begging for his debut album, The Healing Component, to drop. In my book, Wave[s] served its purpose.

Favorite Tracks
- P's & Q's
- Perception
- Alchemy
- Piano
- Your Love

Least Favorite Tracks
- 40 Below
Score: 3.5/5

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