SEARCH FOR: MICK JENKINS

Just the Same – [Big Gigantic] [Vic Mensa] & [Mick Jenkins]

If I’m being completely honest, dance music hasn’t always been a genre that I find myself leaning towards listening to in my own free time, but as the years have gone on there are definitely some artists that I thoroughly enjoy and will tap in with every now and then. One duo that seems to be one of the most legendary dance tag teams in the entire history of the genre is Big Gigantic, a Colorado-based pair of incredibly talented musicians who have blended a variety of styles together to form an upbeat, energetic sound that is more individualistic to them than any other sounds I can think of. Although I may not necessarily listen to them religiously by any means, I saw a press release that was sent to my email regarding a new single entitled “Just the Same”, and while I was intrigued, I’d be lying if I said I would’ve opened it had I not seen the fact that both Vic Mensa and Mick Jenkins were included on this record. I’m glad I tuned in, though, because the instrumental is very reminiscent of the early, soulful sounds that Mick and Vic used to make when they first …

Tell Me Lies – [Hoofy Baby] ft. [Mick Jenkins] [Jean Deaux] & [Qari]

Chicago is the greatest city in the world, and while this might be a biased statement on my behalf, I think that people wouldn’t disagree too often even if they’re not from here. As far as the music scene goes, I love how so many household names have come up in the same proverbial class as one another, and even after achieving insane feats throughout their careers, they seem to always find a way to come back together and continue to make unbelievable music. Most recently, this happened on a debut single by Hoofy Baby entitled “Tell Me Lies” which features legends like Mick Jenkins, Jean Deaux, and Qari. Hoofy is someone I wasn’t familiar with prior, but it turns out that he is the executive producer at MadeUp Records, so it’s safe to say that the instrumental he created for this one is an absolute home run. Jean handles the hook by sharing a somewhat menacing yet mischievous flow that just glides so smoothly over the beat without too much force or intensity, letting her flow handle the bulk of the dynamism. Mick takes the baton for the second verse, getting much more candid and blatant with his delivery …

To a Dark Boy-[Wakai]

“I named the project ‘To a Dark Boy’  because regardless of how I look to the person on the side of the street who is clutching their purse, or if I’m going into a room and they’re looking at me funny, all of that doesn’t matter anymore because I’m a light. It’s kinda like, you can’t block my light anymore. This is my introduction to showing my light to the world” – Wakai Baton Rouge artist Wakai returns to Lyrical Lemonade with his highly-impressive debut album entitled To a Dark Boy. With twelve songs total, the project contains no skippable tracks, and the vibe is consistently refreshing throughout. Sonically the top-tier mellow production is executively credited to Kirti Pandey, with other beats provided by yogic beats, wavworld, and versus. Wakai undoubtedly excels as the protagonist, but the feature lineup of Mick Jenkins, Emmavie, MARCO PLUS, Noa Jamir, Nochvll, Key Lashea, Elinore and Satya are undeniably exceptional in their own regard. Every track remains consistent to the album’s sound, yet simultaneously they’re all distinguishable to create a well-rounded record. Moreover, Wakai’s immense versatility as an equally elite rapper and vocalist further removes any possibility of repetitiveness, thereby solidifying To a Dark Boy‘s strong replay …

Skip To My Lou – [Qari] ft. [Twista]

When I think about artists that shaped my music taste and expanded my knowledge of this industry more than anyone else, I have to begin with the emcees in my home city of Chicago. Artists like Saba, Mick Jenkins, Noname, Supa Bwe, and so many others were people I found out after tapping in with larger artists at the time like Chance, Vic, and most of the other SAVEMONEY members. One group that I have to give the most credit to, though, was Hurt Everybody because Supa, Qari, and Lotto just seemed to be this renaissance within the renaissance that was already underway in the Windy City, and they showed me that music didn’t need barriers to be great. In fact, music seemed to be better when those barriers were busted down, and these three talents knew exactly the right tools for tearing down those walls. Since then, we all know that they have gone their separate ways and have thrived in their individual careers, and this fact is proven once again in Qari’s latest single “Skip To My Lou” featuring Chicago legend Twista. It was even produced by Lotto, who hasn’t been a stranger to Qari or Supa by …

Skin Tight – [Ravyn Lenae] ft. [Steve Lacy]

It never fails that when I write about an artist from Chicago, I have to highlight just how diverse the talents hailing from this city truly are, and that’s because of musicians like Ravyn Lenae. Whether you’re familiar with her as an individual or her work with Smino and Monte Booker within their group Zero Fatigue, you know just how skillful she truly is, and that’s never something I could forget for even a second. She has been on the scene for a minute, and this has led to working with artists including Mick Jenkins, Noname, and plenty of others as well as joining Noname for a tour before opening for SZA the following year. Throughout this time, she has even accumulated countless nods and co-signs from other artists and publications, all of which have helped highlight her very unique and awe-inspiring skillset. Although cohesive projects haven’t been as readily available over the past couple of years, that doesn’t mean that Ravyn is taking it easy, because her brand-new single “Skin Tight” featuring Steve Lacy is something that immediately caught my attention, and I simply can’t stop listening to it. This song is definitely not meant for the club, but …

My Favorite Projects of 2021

2021 has very much been an up and down year for most, but it’s undeniably been a phenomenal year for music. In fact, I enjoyed listening to so many releases that I’d forgotten some even released this year. Not only has there been plenty of stylistic/genre variety, but also artists of all types (small, emerging, mainstream) actively releasing their art. To showcase my appreciation, I decided to put together a list of my favorite projects; (in no particular order) all of which remain in my rotation heading into the new year. I hope you discover an album, EP or mixtape that you might have missed! Last but not least, this list is also a token of gratitude to each and every person that has read a Lyrical Lemonade piece of mine. I wish you a happy and fulfilling New Year. – – – – – Issa Gold: Tempus (album) Genres: Introspective hip-hop, Conscious rap Favorite track: Cold Summer   Amaria – Bittersweet (EP) Genres: R&B Favorite track: Lose Control   Richie Quake – Voyager (EP) Genres: R&B, Indie Favorite Track: Sensitive   Jean Deaux – Most Wanted (EP) Genres: Hip-Hop, Modern R&B, Electro-Trap Favorite track: Stay Down Marlon Craft – How We Intended (album) Genres: Hip-Hop, Jazz …

Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2021

Every year, artists hailing from Chicago prove exactly why this is a city that belongs in the upper echelon of music, and this fact grows more abundantly obvious with every release that is put out. Whether a musician is world renown or locally recognized, there is never a shortage of creativity, effort, or innovation, and whether the rest of the country notices this or not, local fans are well aware of the goldmine that we are sitting on here in the Midwest.  Our goal here at Lyrical Lemonade has always been to shine a light on the remarkable sounds coming out of the city every single year, and even when we go in with certain expectations or presumptions, our minds are absolutely blown once we realize just how much dexterous and unique music was brought to life in the span of 12 short months. One thing that is inimitable within the local scene here is simply the sense of community because whether these talents are teaming up with one another or on entirely different levels of fame, everyone seems to show love to each other, ensuring their awareness of the eye-opening and head-turning styles that are being generated across the …

Watch Mick Jenkin’s NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

I’ve said it countless times before, but I’ll never be able to fully encapsulate my love for the city of Chicago simply with words, so I feel the need to emphasize this fact every single chance I get. The music scene here is just too diverse to ignore, and whether artists are partaking in the drill scene, a more soulful, introspective sound, or blazing their own trail with music that we’ve never heard of before, this variety can’t go unnoticed, and it’s because of artists like Mick Jenkins. Mick has been on my radar for almost a decade now, and I still remember the exact place I was at when I first heard The Water[s]. I was in my dorm room freshman year of college in Minnesota, trying to figure out a way to come home because I missed the city, and in order to make myself feel a little less far, I dove into the local music scene. That’s when I came across the mixtape, and I remember sitting at my desk just zoning out, getting inspired while also being blown away by Mick’s sound, and the rest was history because I became a massive fan from that very …

Cartoons [Ben Beal] x [Elijah Who]

New York artist Ben Beal returns to Lyrical Lemonade with his best body of work yet titled Cartoons. In collaboration with producer Elijah Who, the album lasts just 22 minutes; akin to the length of a cartoon episode. Each track flows like a momentary, soon-to-be nostalgic scene as listeners experience Ben’s childhood favorites while making connections with their own. With vintage Ben Beal lyricism, sonically Elijah Who employs a crafty mixture of jazzy lofi instrumentals perfect for the emcee. With features from Airospace, Hadj Gaviota, REASON, Mick Jenkins and Cole Bauer, Beal unsurpirinslgy does a fantastic job to stand out and/or hold his own no matter his guest. While the LP’s title is “Cartoons,” Beal also makes a number of anime related references, such as a reference to the late Kentaro Miura’s Berserk. There’s also a song called “Hisoka,” which pays homage to the popular Hunter x Hunter character. Overall, Cartoons is a very strong release from Ben Beal; stylistically it’s his bread and butter, which he impressively has elevated on this offering. Have a listen below and be sure to download the official Ben Beal app for more!

Roll Up Hot – [Lil Zay Osama]

If we’re being completely honest right now, Chicago is in a weird place musically. It just seems like this city has always had a specific sonic identity throughout the years that switches every now and then, but right now it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what that is. Back in the 2010s, there was soulful, upbeat music from people like Chance, Vic, Mick Jenkins, Saba, Alex Wiley, and more, while artists like Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Lil Bibby, and G Herbo were keeping the drill scene on lock. It just seems as if right now, there is no clearly defined sound that the city can call our own, but if nothing else, this is exciting because it opens things up to so many different styles, sounds, and possibilities, so I’m not complaining even slightly. While the drill scene has maybe cooled off slightly since Keef and Durk first helped it blow up almost a decade ago, Lil Zay Osama is here to make sure that this subgenre isn’t soon forgotten, and he’s making some of the most incredible drill music in the entire world, let alone the Windy City itself. As Zay ramps up the hype for Trench Baby 2 which …