Mick Jenkins Gets Up and Gets Down in Reverse on a New Concept Track (Audio)

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Hi. We recently created AFH TV, Ambrosia For Heads’ streaming video service, because we believe real Hip-Hop deserves its own dedicated TV home. But, there are doubters, so, we need your help. If you have enjoyed anything on AFH over the last 7 years, we are asking you to subscribe to AFH TV. It is only $1.99/month or $12/year, and already features some amazing content, but the best is yet to come. Thank you for all of your support.

Mick Jenkins is proving to be one of the more creative voices to emerge in Hip-Hop in quite some time. The Cinematic Music Group artist (Big K.R.I.T., Joey Bada$$) rarely settles for songs with just heady lyrics and challenging beats. He typically elevates them into full blown concept tracks, often as part of an overarching theme.

This was on full display with Jenkins’ The Water[s] mixtape, on which he delivered a series of messages he believed to be essential to life, like water, using our liquid life source as a metaphor throughout. Since then, he’s followed up with standout cuts like “11,” a song in protest of the killing of Eric Garner, and “P’s & Q’s,” where he put on a dizzying display of his rhyme skills, using primarily words that start with those two letters.

Now, Jenkins is on the verge of releasing The Wave[s], his next project, and his latest single continues down the path of high-minded concepts. Using the title “Get Up Get Down,” a catch-phrase that typically connotes dancing, Mick creates a song about life’s ups and downs. He starts with an uptempo track that’s juxtaposed with downtrodden lyrics like “Mama used to think it wasn’t chronic,” a possible allusion to depression, and “it was all bad.” Midway through, he downshifts the tempo of the song considerably, to a dark and brooding trap beat, but, as the BPMs decrease, the lyrics pick up. Mick starts to offer words of encouragement, talking about the progress he’s made with his career, despite trepidations from a year ago, and repeating the phrase “and I wake up feeling good.” The double-entendre title and auditory tricks with the contrasting moods of the lyrics and beats are just the latest examples of Jenkins’ willingness to swim upstream rather than simply riding the waves of convention. Check it out.

Related: Mick Jenkins Has Nothing But Time, But No Time For The B.S. (Audio)