Mick Jenkins (pictured) is one of the year’s most promising breakout rappers. Just last month he came out with his second mixtape proper, ‘The Water(s)’. It immediately became one of our favourites of the year and easily accomplished his goal of reaching a wider audience. So when he offered Clash the opportunity to premiere his latest track, we snatched it.
‘Rain’ sees the Chicago rapper teaming up with another of our favourites, Kaytranada, who references Missy Elliott’s ‘The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)’ with flourishes of Timbaland’s spacious funk, utilising Ann Peebles’ 1973 soul classic ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’ to tie into Jenkins’ subject matter.
The result sounds closer to Kay’s work with his brother Louie P as The Celestics than the club-ready SoundCloud-hosted remixes that have seen the Montreal producer rise to prominence. ‘The Rain’ is a welcome addition to Kaytranada’s growing list of hip-hop production credits that include acts ranging from Vic Mensa to Mobb Deep.
While on paper this might’ve seemed like an unlikely pairing, the artists both share an affinity for neo-soul, both citing the genre as a major influence. Speaking to Clash back April, Kay explained: “Up-tempo neo-soul – nobody thought about doing that. And that’s what I’m focusing on right now.” It’s this sensibility that binds the two together and results in a strong and organic finished product.
Look out for more from Mick Jenkins in the coming months as the Cinematic Music Group signee works on his forthcoming debut album.
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Words: Grant Brydon