During times like these, people are longing to listen to something they can feel. That’s what inspired Mick Jenkins, a 25-year-old Chicago wordsmith, to open up the dialogue and start a life-changing conversation with the release of his album, "The Healing Component". Not too long ago, he was encouraging us all to drink more water in projects like, "Waves" and "The Waters". Now, new outbursts of poetic metaphors are leading us down yet another journey of truth seeking, craving knowledge and finally grasping the basics of his theory’s key component - love.
“When people talk about love, you really only think about the pretty parts; the romantic parts of love. People don’t think about things, like loving themselves, or what that takes and that you have to know yourself to love yourself,” says Mick in an interlude following the first track, “The Healing Component”, or T.H.C., as he likes to call it.
Warm vibes and high spirits come to a sudden halt during “Daniel’s Bloom”, where the free love lectures fall octaves deeper and cheerful 80s electric keyboard melodies from the previous track, turn to dark and dreary piano keys. A distorted voice gets things going by confessing, “What the world needs is love. That’s what we don’t have enough of.” But, there is a way we can change this, right? Mick comes in later with the answer.
“Love is stronger than pride, but also love is a muscle. You gotta build from inside it, amidst the hustle and bustle.”
The basic of his message was love - not just loving yourself, but projecting that love onto others. Tracks like “Spread Love” have laid down the basic foundation. Others, like “Daniel’s Bloom” and “Strange Love”, show that love has many other complex facets. You have to give it to receive it, but most importantly, it must be rooted within you first to grow and give away. “How I’mma give you, what I clearly still need for myself?” Mick says in frustration in “Strange Love”, a track placing lack of love at the root of our own dysfunctional relationships. Still trying to put the pieces together, he asks, “How can a Black man not be confused in this? We used to hang from them trees, we abusing them now.”
“Fall Through”, another mind-opener on "The Healing Component", is a testament to how self-doubt can also be a hindrance of self-love. A light and airy choir harmonizes with rhythmic percussions to drill in the profound questions Mick asks in the chorus, “Of all the things you know, do you know yourself? Well enough to trust the way you go, when you don’t know the way?”
It doesn’t get any deeper than “Angles”, featuring Noname and Xavier Omar, an honest, admirable masterpiece that simplifies love's obstacles by looking at them from a whole new perspective. “See it’s all about angles, whether I’m checking my watch or hittin’ my dab.” He continues, “You use the same muscles to cough with as you would do to laugh.” Now that “spread love” is becoming the new mantra, we’re all being forced to take a look at love within ourselves. One of the most touching parts of the song was when somewhere towards the end, Mick Jenkins admits, “Had to get to know myself before I claimed I loved me. Nobody else, just
for myself. Got more myself just for me… I’m growing every day.”
He’s been meditating, probably over medicated, but things started heating up toward the end when he finally started dropping names in “Fucked Up Outro” featuring Michael Anthony. Throughout the album, he sprinkled little references of industry people appropriating the culture and not having their heart in it. But before he completely put Drake’s alleged ghostwriter, Quentin Miller, on blast, mind you, he’s already advised us of the following:
“Please don’t confuse shade with the shadows of dim lights.”
Hands down, “The Healing Component” is a rare classic booming with character, creativity and can’t forget, crazy wordplay. It’s part truth, mixed with mostly metaphor and a little bit of strange, but it’s all love. And now that the seed has been planted, the conversation is growing, which means the healing has begun.