SXSW 2016: Is Mick Jenkins the next great Chicago emcee?

Chicago has a strong tradition of turning out great emcees, a fact that was underlined by a Yeezy-heavy stage-setting soundtrack at the Chicago Made showcase Thursday night. 
Mick Jenkins, a tall and serious 24-year-old rhyme slinger might be the Windy City’s next breakout. 
A sizable crowd packed into Emo’s to see Jenkins. When he took the stage they greeted him by shouting his own catchphrase, “Drink more water.”
Jenkins himself repeated the mantra several times in his 20 minute set. “Water is a metaphor for truth,” Jenkins explained. When he says “Drink more water,” what he really means is “Seek more truth.” 
His delivery style was earnest, occasionally furious. He used no backing tracks to deliver his thoughtful rhymes and though he brought a homie to help sing the hooks, his verses occasionally slid into song. 
When Jenkins wrapped his set, earlier than anyone wanted, loud cheers erupted. Then a good 50 percent of the audience dispersed into the night. 

Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

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