If you listen to one thing today, make it The Healing Component. Mick Jenkins’ debut album encapsulates everything that drew listeners to him with his previous two projects, which received plaudits for his catchy lyrics and compelling themes; The Water[s] brought Mick’s raw talent to the fore, while Wave[s] showcased his willingness to experiment structurally, lyrically, and spiritually. THC represents the next step in Mick Jenkins’ evolution as a combination of both as he raps about love, finding truth, religion, identity, and, of course, water.
Freely flowing over instrumentals from a variety of producers, including BADBADNOTGOOD and Kaytranada, Mick exhibits his versatility. Each song on the album communicates Mick’s views on love and life, but no one song feels the same as another. At times it feels as if Mick is preaching directly to us, his voice rising above the track as a single, undeterred monologue. Just as seamlessly as he can dominate the track, Mick will willingly fade into the instrumental and ride it out. His delivery is one of the most unique in the game, deftly changing speeds and inflections, while reminding listeners just how talented he is.
The Healing Component is broken up with interludes of Mick and a woman talking about love and their experiences. The interludes pose questions to listeners, challenging them to really listen and think about what Mick is rapping about. THC doesn’t just limit its message to conventional love; in an interview with The FADER, Mick addressed how his music reflects his realities, and his realizations about the realities of love.
“Speaking to romantic love, you have got to know yourself to then love yourself and then be able to love other people the correct way. We don’t talk about that and I think a lot of people just assume that because they are themselves and they love themselves.”
“Spread Love,” a standout track on the album, speaks volumes towards Mick’s intention with The Healing Component. Mick preaches about the power and potential of love, asking “all that gold is overrated, what do you do with your coin?” A personal favorite of mine, “As Seen In Bethsadia” rejects the callous and jaded perspectives of love that he hears, lamenting that “love ain’t even appreciated these days, niggas depreciated the value.” Mick’s opinions on love perforate all aspects of his album as a he tackles problems of identity and belonging, racism, and much more. Everything all ties together beautifully, his major themes merging with the familiar trope of water to create an album that is utterly remarkable from start to finish.
Mick has time and again proven himself as a solo artist. However, given the nature of his lyrics on the album, it seems only right that he enlists the help of several other performers, faces both new and old. Xavier Omär and fellow Chicagoan Noname link up for a dynamic collaboration with Mick on “Angles.” A longtime staple in his work, theMind’s name pops up several times throughout THC. Other features include J-Stock, Ravyn Lenae, and Michael Anthony. The patently stellar production falls into the talented hands of Sango, Kaytranada, THEMpeople, and many more.
The Healing Component is Mick Jenkins’ turn on the pulpit. Each song is as important as the next, and any one could be argued as the album’s central thesis. Slowly but surely, he is forging an identity for himself as one of the most conscious and talented rappers in the game. It will only be a matter of time before Mick returns to wow listeners with his next project.
Stream The Healing Component on Apple Music or Spotify, let Mick Jenkins amaze you, and don’t forget to drink more water.