Frontstreet – [Mick Jenkins] ft. [Kaytranada]

It’s a rare moment when you find an artist and a producer who just have such great chemistry and understand each other’s sounds in such a seamless way that you know every time they make a song together, it’s going to be a hit before you even press play. Chicago artist Mick Jenkins and the always groovy and innovative producer Kaytranada have this very dynamic and it’s always fun to see what the duo has up their sleeves. From “Ps & Qs” and “Your Love” to “1000 Xans” and the most recent song off of Kaytranada’s amazing album Bubba “Gray Area”, every song is spectacular although they all bring such a different aesthetic sonically. Some are more intricate while others are just straight-up groovy, but no matter what the vibe they create is, the artistry and understanding between the two talents is something to behold.

Mick is pretty fresh off of January’s The Circus, an EP where Mick pretty much prepared his fans for an upcoming full-length project through experimental and wandering thoughts and sounds, but this release isn’t stopping him from dropping off some new loosies for fans to play on repeat for the foreseeable future. Kaytranada brought the production to new heights with faced-paced, industrial-sounding percussion, lighthearted, floating synths, and soft bass drums. Mick bounces on the beat like a trampoline, demonstrating a consistent and intriguing flow while his words seem to punch at the same exact moments as certain elements of the instrumental do, lining the timing up flawlessly. You can hear his voice getting slightly more forceful as the song progresses, not in a destructive way but rather portraying the passion behind his lyrics.

Mick’s wordplay is as intelligent as ever, with lines like how the potent smell of his weed garners the same kind of attention that gunshots have been known to bring, as well as nonsensical issues stopping his bars just like a blood clot stops the flow of blood. He also discusses some experiences he has gained throughout the years, doing some legal but also not so legal things as he grew up. He goes on to say how he learned from these things while other people who were partaking in the same activities never looked back in retrospect. Throughout the entire song, Kaytranada created the beat in such a way that it builds and seems to add fuel to Mick’s fire which definitely plays up his passionate delivery.

Before even pressing play on this new track, I knew it was a hit from the moment it popped up on my newsfeed. Kaytranada’s album Bubba was one of my favorite projects of the year and just set such a premium precedent that I didn’t think was possible after all of his other extremely strong records. Mick Jenkins has long been one of my favorite artists not only in Chicago, but in general, so I knew he was going to bring his A-game for this track as well. “Frontstreet” is a hit in every sense of the word, so you don’t want to miss out on this fantastic new offering from one of the best teams in all of music.

Words by Danny Adams