Village Underground hosted some future stars of the rap game last night, I went along to get Ticketweb’s take on Mick Jenkins and Noname.
From an outside perspective on Rap and Hip-Hop music coming out of the US in the last couple of years; it seems like there is an emcee factory on the East Coast, churning out seriously talented artists with varying lyrical and performance styles. As well as this – the established acts are continuing to raise their game. Chicago, in particular, is absolutely owning it right now. This year, Chi-town heroes Kanye West and Chance The Rapper have released huge albums garnering sky-high acclaim from both fans and critics alike.
One of the best things about the music coming out of the windy city right now is the mantra of collaboration that seems to be instilled in the artists creating it. Take Chance’s new album “Colouring Book” for example, fourteen out of the sixteen tracks on this LP have at least one – some up to four – artists featuring on them. The vast majority of these collaborators are also from Chicago.
One would think that this Chi-city saturation would mean that rappers find it harder to break through the clutter, the result is quite the contrary. If anything, all of these artists are working together with the end goal of world rap-game domination on the horizon. Mick Jenkins is a rapper from Southside Chicago, he too has collaborated with Chance The Rapper as has his friend and support act Noname.
Both Mick Jenkins and Noname have poetry backgrounds and it’s clear the effect this has on their writing and delivery skills. Jenkins’ first full release “The Healing Component” came out last month and he is currently touring Europe until mid-November. He performed to a sold out Village Underground in London last night, here’s what went down:
So, Mick Jenkins fills us in on what he believes The Healing Component is and the audience agrees. The Village Underground was the perfect venue for this show, the funky and enthusiastic East London crowd lapping up the amazing atmosphere created by the room and enjoying the incredible sound oozing out of the monstrous speakers hanging above the stage.
As if Mick Jenkins wasn’t enough on his own he was supported by Noname (FKA Noname Gypsy) also hailing from Chicago. She had the crowd hanging on her every word with her elaborate rhymes and bubbling personality, detailing how she was even more excited than usual as it was her first time out of America. She is passionate about what is going on in her home country, so much so that she ordered everyone who disliked Donald Trump to put their middle fingers in the air and repeat after her when she shouts “F**k Trump”… it’s safe to say more than a few audience members joined in.
The Chicago collaboration culture crops up mid-set when Jenkins invites Noname back on stage for their track “Comfortable”.
Mick is the star of the show and I’ve included too many videos in this post but I feel like you all need to watch them. This was one hell of a gig and contrary to some snippets of these videos the sound was flawless, the bass heavy tracks sound distorted on the videos taken on my phone but you need to watch them and I should just let the videos do the talking.
The crowd were clearly fond of Jenkins two years ago when he released his first mixtape The Water(s)
Obviously, Mick Jenkins can get the crowd going but his rapping and songwriting are at such a high-level. He addresses important issues and can get dark and intense. Check out “Daniel’s Bloom” (Excuse the bass heavy distorted sound halfway through – it corrects itself.)
If you haven’t clicked on any of the videos on this post for some reason or another you need to see and hear the moment when Mick Jenkins and his large 6 foot 4-inch frame dives into the crowd while rapping:
Despite how crazy the show got towards the end, how the whole crowd was so hyped and the blood was pumping, once it ended everyone seemed so content and friendly. There was a real buzz in the venue all night and Mick just wants everybody to keep this wave of positivity going and everybody to spread love in everyday life.
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