It feels like an age has passed since Chicago lyricist Mick Jenkins dropped off The Circus, a brilliantly written and conceptually charged piece of work. By his own admission, the project was the first of many, with his ambition to stage a hip-hop takeover positioned at an all-time high. It would appear we're on the verge of kicking off the second phase, with Mick's new single "Snakes" sliding through to set the tone.
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"Pulled up in the vintage thing, checked the rearview through the vintage frames," spits Mick, his presence formidable in the opening bars. "That's just gang behindâ me, dirtyâ n***s, no stainsâ behind me / Free Nation, oh boy, they chainedâ a few n***s that came with slime / Or what niggas mightâcallâinsane / theyâlike calling bluffs,âI won't callâit game." It soon becomes evident that he's never in anything less than complete control of his flow, staggering syllables to land where you least expect it.
British rapper Kojey Radical comes through with the assist, closing the up-tempo track with deftly delivered verse. "Maybe it's sorcery, end up like apostrophe, I need me some accolades if I'm speakin' honestly," he spits. "I need me a couple plugs, just check my discography." Look for Mick's two-pack to be completed with the release of the Kaytranada-produced "Frontstreet," and sound off in the comments - is Mick Jenkins top 5 with the pen?
If a n**a can't play, when we callin' refs
Can't state the stats
Debated facts without the effort
Blade in act, like Golden State without the Steph
The glue ain't right, the ankle shake
The shoe ain't right, I threw it well
I manifest the blue and white