ALBUM REVIEW: "The Patience" in a world of chaos – The Daily Athenaeum – thedaonline

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Mick Jenkins performs.

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Mick Jenkins performs.
Chicago-based rapper, songwriter and producer Mick Jenkins combines smooth and poetic lyrics and an advanced sound to create an iconic album about life and personal growth. Jenkins, known for his avant-garde sound and voice, brings nothing less than his best in “The Patience,” which was released on Aug. 18. Jenkins has gained notoriety in the hip-hop world with his singles “Zodiac” (2020) and “MOVIN’” (2021), along with the heartfelt song “Carefree” from his 2020 album “The Circus.”
Jenkins’s roots in neo-soul and contemporary black gospel music, largely from his parents’ influence, are heavily prevalent on this project. Smooth jazz beats layer nearly every song on this record. They are mainly prevalent in the tracks “Guapanese” and the intro of “007.” The implementations of these elements, scattered throughout the album, are well done and flow perfectly.
The first track off of “The Patience” immediately hooks the listener with its catchy and loose lyrics and sound. The bass and finger-clicking noises add depth to the song while Jenkins’s performance in this song is quite special. His rough and untamed voice is immersive and envelops the listener in the story he tells. Jenkins raps about self-pride, mentioning how far he’s come as an artist and person.
The next track starts with a dark and eerie beat. He raps about his critics and how their opinion is meaningless to him. Jenkins touches upon the theme of gentrification with a clever Whole Foods lyric. Freddie Gibbs’s verse on this track is great and sounds like a classic Gibbs song, filled with solid bars and strong wordplay. “Show & Tell” concludes with a spoken word piece by Jenkins, who states that saying something is different than actually showing it.
“Sitting Ducks” is a listening experience that heavily stresses the importance of patience in day-to-day life and how it can be frustrating at times. Jenkins’s vocals brilliantly support the song’s intention of showing frustration while remaining patient. Benny The Butcher features in the song, rapping about his own wealth and fame. His verse lacks depth and seems out of place, especially considering the topics in the preceding song. Musically, this song is gritty and futuristic with a simple drum beat that keeps the listener involved. It flows well with Jenkins, who, once again, plays off of the beat with incredible skill.
By far the most popular track on the album, “Smoke Break-Dance,” features one of the most talented artists in the current hip-hop world, JID. This song discusses marijuana and how its recreational use has become more accepted. “Smoke Break-Dance” is calm, relaxing and catchy. JID is the most memorable feature on the album. His humorous lyrics are laced with wordplay and entertaining bars. JID and Jenkins sound perfect on this song, rapping about their experiences with drugs, while having fun on the mic together. This track deserves the attention it is getting. It is a very fun and enjoyable experience.
“007” is a laid-back track about resilience and getting through hard times. Jenkins raps about his own perseverance with touching personal lyrics. The subtle airy synthesizer in the background of this track is alluring, keeping the listener involved with the track and acting as a buildup for the next.
“2004,” performed by an impatient Jenkins, is the first song on the record that brings anger. He sounds irritated and annoyed while simultaneously calm and somewhat collected in his performance on the track. The high tops on this song sound great, acting as a melody that drifts well alongside Jenkins’s superb rapping and anger-fueled storytelling.
“ROY G. BIV” is easily the most creative song on “The Patience,” filled with lyrics related to colors. Nearly every bar on this track has something to do with color theory or art, flawlessly intertwined with a breezy and lo-fi-esque beat. This song shows off the talented Jenkins at his poetic best. Jenkins artistically says, “Them black lights come out and we see that we all stained,” which strengthens the song’s message that everyone, even if we can’t see it in the light of day, is different and has their own stories and lives.
Starting off with calm electric guitar strings and light piano keys, the track “Pasta” seems to follow the recipe of slow beats with strong high tops and drums as layers. Unexpectedly, Jenkins starts rapping as obnoxious horns change the tone into a hard, gritty rap. “Pasta” is an aggressive change of flow that sends the listener on a hard and uncensored look at Jenkins’s inner demons.
“Farm to Table” is the most forgettable track on this project due to its apparent lack of lyrical depth. Jenkins and rapper Vic Mensa go well together on this track, but the beat falls flat towards the end, accompanied by a lack of memorability with the lyrics. A subtle detail in this song is the screeching sound of a stopping train, which flows nicely with Jenkins’s alluring voice while the distorted violin and piano cuts throughout this track.
Jenkins lets his opinions on money be known in the song “Guapanese,” which is led by soft falling piano keys and slow jazzy drums. Jenkins discusses the obsession with money that intoxicates the world he lives in. He highlights instances of money being the driving motive for certain people with honest vocals that are intended to stand out of the leisurely beat.
Closing off “The Patience” is the song “Mop,” which adds multiple elements to create a remarkable closing track. The choir and clean high tops add to the realistic and suspenseful story Jenkins tells about his career and self. The final half of this track is a spoken word piece. He discusses how his career in the music industry has taught him patience. Jenkins addresses his personal meaning of growth and the importance of finding his own voice. He believes, “Trying to rush that [growth] doesn’t get you anywhere except where you don’t wanna be fast.”
“The Patience” succeeds in showing Jenkins’s maturing as a person and an artist in a competitive and unforgiving industry. Jenkins learns how to be patient with his growth over the course of this album, both musically and with himself. The experience of this record is one that is nothing less than enlightening. Lyrically, this album is nearly perfect; Jenkins excels at creating profound and poetic lyrics while maintaining a level of fun and looseness very few artists have while performing. His voice adds so much to the story of the album, creating a reality around the music. Jenkins is not just singing and rapping, he is putting on a performance. 9/10
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