By Gabe Dooley, Contributor
Key Tracks: “Spread Love,” “Strange Love,” “Angles”
The explosion of attention towards social unrest and discrimination over the past few years has made for a new wave of socially meaningful hip-hop and R&B. Artists like Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo have taken to music that not only displays the frustrations of America’s black communities, but encourage optimism, unity, and progress. Riding this wave is the Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins, whose last record The Water[s] made a name for him as a conscious, creative and thought-provoking artist. The album consisted of Jenkins exploring and picking apart the idea of water as a symbol of institutional conflicts as well as individual struggles.
With The Healing Component, Mick explores the concept of love in the same style as he did water on his last project. With this endeavor comes an assortment of warm and jazzy songs that reflect on the idea of love in its numerous contexts and meanings. Jenkins touches the issues of black people across America, often with an attitude of hope and optimism, like on the track “Spread Love,” and other times with a deep feeling of sadness and confusion, such as on the track “Strange Love.” On this specific track, Mick opens up about his views on the hatred and disharmony still existing in his community, as well as those across America and the world.
The ideas and attitudes expressed in The Healing Component sync impressively with smooth, melodic instrumentals, making for a very immersive and atmospheric listen. Guest features on this record include a memorable performance by BADBADNOTGOOD, as well as an unforgettably charming and uplifting verse from Noname. The Healing Component as a whole is creative, expressive, thoughtful, and soothingly fluid, promoting optimism and hope in a way that can certainly brighten somebody’s day, or even open someone’s mind.