Mixtape Review | Mick Jenkins – The Water[s]

This mixtape was released on August 12 in 2014. This’ll be my first time ever redoing a review. I probably don’t really need to do this, but I already deleted the original review. I hate that review. I really underrated this shit. It’s one of those situations where I was being overly skeptical just because of what other people were saying. I wasn’t actually listening to enjoy it for myself. I mean, I didn’t really underrate it that much. I’m pretty sure the original verdict was somewhere in the 80s. My biggest problem with that review is just the shit I said. It’s not even that what I said was wrong; I just didn’t say enough. I’m pretty sure I only said like two or three sentences for some of the tracks. Most of my reviews were like that when I was first starting tho. Anyway, I’ve obviously already heard this tape. I’ve already told y’all how I feel about it. I’m just gonna be a little more specific about this shit this time. I’m also doing this to prepare myself for his debut album which dropped on August 23rd this year.

Track 1: Shipwrecked Feat. theMIND (Prod. THEMpeople)

Alright, here we go. I love the way this tape starts. TheMIND’s vocals on the intro are fantastic. His vocals all over the whole tape are great. He’s a really underrated singer. If I was a rapper I’d have him on my shit. I remember that I gave this song a 4 when I originally reviewed it. I was trippin’. I love this song. I love the intro from theMIND. I love the relaxing production that makes me feel as if I’m floating in the sea. I love the first verse. “It’s been tragic since Boy Meets World; it’s been savage / But the goal was never really the beef; it’s been cabbage / We kill for it, when we die we can’t have it / But we can’t kill the habit holding onto this boat ’til we shipwreck.” I love the hook from theMIND. I love the jazzy instrumentation between the hook and the second verse. I love the way the beat switches up for the second verse. I love how the percussion becomes more energetic and hard hitting to fit Mick’s more aggressive delivery. He killed that second verse. “Somebody shooting nigga, even when it’s snowing / In the cold, you could see the people thirsty / Well, I gotta little water right here, you heard me / All you gotta do is take a sip, and I don’t want your souls, and I do not want your gold / I just do it for the Free my nigga don’t trip.” This is one of my favorite songs on the whole tape. There’s nothing that I dislike about this track. The structure is kinda weird, but it keeps things interesting. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 2: THC (Prod. THC)

I originally gave this song a 3, and even tho I like it now, I completely understand why I gave it that rating. Even if it is a sonically entertaining track for me, it’s pretty easy to understand why some people may consider this to be filler. Hell, even I kinda feel like it’s filler. This song is pretty much just two recitals of a hook, aside from a short interlude in which Mick Jenkins spews out some random information about water. There’s no verse. This whole song is just him singing the hook. I like the song, but it really could’ve been so much better if there was at least one verse. It’d be cool if he remixed this track and replaced the interlude with an actual verse. I love the beat. The beat is dope af. I just… I just REALLY wish there was a verse. This beat is too good for him to not rap over it. This track feels more like an interlude than an actual song. I still like it tho. It… I don’t know. I just feel sad whenever I listen to it ’cause I wanna hear him rap over it. It is what it is tho. This is dope to me personally, but, again, I completely understand why some people might dislike it. 4/5

Track 3: The Waters (Prod. High Klassified & Da P)

This is yet another track that I underrated in my original review. I think I gave it a four. I don’t know what he fuck I was thinking. I’m just gonna start from the beginning. First of all, this beat is dope af. I guess I love the production throughout this whole project tho. I always found it kinda weird how he yelled “you were never ready for the flooow” at the beginning of the track. I don’t know why. It just seemed kinda random. I mean, he does have a really dope flow on this track. I just wasn’t expecting him to say that. It came outta nowhere. It also doesn’t even really sound like him because of the way he yelled it. I thought it was a sound clip from a movie or something the first time I heard it. It’s completely true tho. His flow on the first verse is smoother than a motherfucker. He killed the first verse. “Y’all niggas don’t tell enough of the truth in the booth, and it’s proof you ain’t fucking with mine.” The hook is catchy as fuck too. I don’t know what the hell I wanted from Mick Jenkins when I gave this song a 4. It has everything. His flow is great. The beat is dope af. The hook is really catchy. I love this song. He killed the second verse too. “In this bitch ballpoint strapped / Get back; this nigga got a pen to the page / Permanent marks; I’m a marksman, I never miss.” This is one of the best songs on the tape. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 4: Healer Feat. Jean Deaux (Prod. Dream Koala & OnGaud)

This is my favorite song on the whole mixtape. That might be kinda surprising to some of y’all since I usually dislike love songs. This is one of my favorite love songs of all time tho. I LOVE this beat. The sample that was flipped is amazing. I love it when love songs sound kinda sad, so this track is perfect for me. The beat is fucking incredible. Mick’s flow on the first verse is great. I love Jean Deaux’s vocal performance on the hook too. Mick killed the second verse. “Everybody hurts, I could deal with the abuse / Passion of Christ with my pen to the pad / Your passion for life will exceed the paper / Just a sip of the holiest water he has.” I really love Jean Deaux’s verse at the end too. I love her super drowsy, almost dream-like delivery. I probably like her verse a little more than I should just ’cause I have a crush on her. Again, this is my favorite song on the album. Or mixtape. It feels more like an album than a mixtape tho. This is easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing tracks on the tape. This is dope to me. 5/5

Track 5: Comfortable Feat. Noname (Prod. Cam)

This was the first Mick Jenkins song I ever heard. Remember how I mentioned that my sister’s friend made her a mix CD in my review of Sick Boi by Childish Gambino? This was on there. It also had Babylon by SZA & some wack ass Jon Bellion song, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, this is another song with a fantastic beat and a super catchy hook. It’s got the same beat as Too High To Riot by Bas. It’s not exactly the same, but the differences are very slight. That’s why I couldn’t get behind that song. I’d rather just listen to this song. Mick’s flow on the first verse was great. It actually kinda reminds me of the way Andre 3000 flows over beats. Kinda. The first verse was fantastic. Aside from being the first Mick Jenkins song I ever heard, this was also the first track with Noname that I’d ever heard. I remember not really feelin’ her verse that much when I first heard it. Her flow sounds really loose and almost off beat. If you actually read the lyrics while listening to her verse it doesn’t really sound like she’s off beat tho. It’s weird. It’s like it’s easier to see how she fits into the beat by just reading what she’s saying. Maybe it’s just me. This is another one of those songs that I underrated. I gave it a four. Again, I don’t know what the hell I was looking for. The beat is dope af, the hook is super catchy, and both of the verses are great. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 6: Vibe (Prod. OnGaud)

I think this is one of the few tracks that I actually gave a 5 to when I first reviewed this mixtape. The beat is really smooth. This song doesn’t really have the same watery aesthetic that a lot of the other tracks have. Well, maybe it does. It’s not as clear tho. I fuck with this song, but it’s definitely one of my least favorites. It’s just underwhelming to me compared to the other songs. I don’t really know why. I like the beat. The hook’s decent. The first verse was great. The second verse was even better. “Didn’t even get to see my granny before she passed ’cause I was too busy rapping / That type of shit will shift your whole perspective / Make you spit the type of shit to rip a whole collective / The pieces I been connecting the truth; I hope I connect with the thesis.” The verses are really dope. I’m just not really blown away by this track sonically. I still fuck with the song tho. This is dope. 4/5

Track 7: Jazz (Prod. OnGaud)

I’m pretty sure this is one of the more popular songs from this tape. I really like it, but not as much as everyone else seems to. I think the production is really good, and the verses are all great. I just don’t really like the hook that much tho. I don’t even know why. I just don’t like it. The first verse was great tho. The second verse is dope too. I don’t know. I like this track. This is a good song. I just… I don’t love it. I fuck with this tho. I don’t really have much to say about this track other than that. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 8: Black Sheep (Prod. Statik Selektah)

This is one of the few songs from this tape that I just don’t remember at all. I must’ve liked it the first time I listened to this project tho because it’s still in my iTunes library. I just haven’t listened to it in so long that I don’t remember it all. It’s starting now. Hmmm… This sounds kinda familiar. I THINK I remember this, but I don’t know for sure. The beat is familiar. It’s dope af. This song is just one long ass verse over a fantastic beat. This is awesome. Damn. How did I forget about this shit. I love the structure of this track. “Remember I was younger wishing that I had my friends’ parents / Back when they lied to us better; I’m on this water now / Funny how these other niggas thirsty, but they watered down / They oughta drown; watching niggas run for the boat when the rain drops.” He fuckin’ killed this shit. “How many lies can you tell yourself before the pain stops? / Out here harvesting the same crop; Woe is me / I’m out here sowing seeds, blowing trees, writing all this poetry.” I love this song. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 9: Drink More Water Feat. Ebony (Prod. Spacedtime)

This beat is really dope. The hook is pretty simplistic, but it’s not really bad. Mick fuckin’ murdered that first verse. He had a really aggressive flow and delivery, which creates a dope contrast to the smooth beat. “You’re dull as a fucking butter knife / Can’t cut shit; can’t touch this / It’s a masterpiece when the pen attack the leaf / But it’s all in a stroke on some paintbrush shit / they’ve been shooting in the streets, and I ain’t ducked yet.” He went the fuck off on this track. The second verse is fantastic too. Hahahaha. He took a light shot at Riff Raff on the second verse. “I couldn’t afford to get my girl into this open mic that I performed for / But somewhere in the world there’s a Riff Raff concert that people gon’ swarm for / I never understand that shit / Put all the whack rappers in the band and disband that shit.” He absolutely destroyed that second verse. This track doesn’t have the most interesting beat, or the catchiest hook, or the best feature—Ebony just provides some anonymous background vocals during the hook—but the verses are so damn good that it’d be a crime for me to call this anything other than “dope af.” 5/5

Track 10: Canada Dry (Prod. J Money)

This is another one of those tracks that I don’t remember at all. It’s starting now. Oh shit I remember this shit already. This beat is really dope. I think I gave this song a 3 when I originally reviewed it. I’m not really feelin’ Mick’s melodic delivery and flow on this track. It just sounds really boring. This is definitely the most underwhelming song on the whole tape so far. I liked the beat at first, but it gets really boring after a while. I honestly don’t really like this track. I feel like all of my energy is sucked away when I listen to it. Mick’s delivery and flow are just so boring to me. I still kinda like the beat tho. I feel like if there was a feature or something this could be dope. It just didn’t really do anything for me tho. I don’t think this is a bad song at all. I just don’t really like it that much. If it happened to be playing on the radio I wouldn’t be in a rush to change the station, but I won’t be playing this again intentionally. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 11: Who Else (Prod. TJ Osinulu)

Who Else

This is the last song on this tape that I don’t remember at all. It’s starting now. Oh. Okay, yeah. I remember this track. This beat is dope af. This song kinda just sounds like a more complete version of the previous track. The beat is a lot more energetic and interesting. The hook has pretty much the same melody as the previous track. It sounds a lot better tho since there’s so much more energy in this song. There’s only one verse, but it’s dope af. “I know you saw signs; Black Mel Gibson with the passion / I been gifted with the rapping / Niggas tripping; I been trapping / Gotta move so many keys to unlock the boxes we trapped in / Somebody tell the captain we been ready to take off for like 400 years now / But we’re blinded through our ears now.” I don’t really have much to say about this track. I love the beat, and he killed the verse. I’m not in love with the hook, which lasts a little too long for me, but aside from that I think this is a really fucking dope track. I fuck with this one. 4/5

Track 12: Dehydration Feat. theMIND (Prod. DJ Dahi)

This was my favorite song on the tape the first time I heard it. DJ Dahi handled the production, so you already know the beat is crazy. This is one of the best beats on the whole tape. All of the verses from Mick are great. There’s not really much to say about this track since I don’t really have any problems with it. Everything about this song is great. I think this is probably the most accessible track since it has a fantastic beat, and a sung hook from theMIND. It’s one of the few tracks with a typical song structure. One thing that kinda took away from it was the strange layer of background vocals from theMIND during the hook. He kinda just sounds like a drunk guy moaning. I think this song would sound a lot better without that layer of background vocals. It’s not that hard to get used to tho. The primary layer of vocals from theMIND is fantastic. I don’t really have anything else to say about this track. This is the most obvious pick for a single. I guess that’s why it’s one of the few tracks to get a music video. Anyway, I definitely fuck with this track. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 13: 514 (Prod. OnGaud)

This is probably the darkest track on the whole album in terms of production. I usually like dark beats, but this one isn’t really that good to me. It’s cool I guess. It’s just kinda boring to me to be honest. If anyone has the a cappella version of this song please send me that shit. I’ve been wanting to put Mick’s vocals over the beat to Blessings by Big Sean. I really don’t have much to say about this track. It’s just a good song. The beat isn’t that good to me. I like the percussion in this song a lot, but other than that the production doesn’t stand out at all to me. The hook is cool, and the verses from Mick are great. “Peep the passion; the thought he put in is hardly comparable / Speaking of parables, these days I find myself feeling like Charles Barkley / Man, all you niggas is terrible.” This song is really dope. It’s definitely not one of my favorites, but I still fuck with it. 4/5

Track 14: Martyrs (Prod. OnGaud)

I remember this song replacing Dehydration as my favorite track from this album before I finally settled on Healer. The beat from OnGaud is pretty dope. It samples Carmen McRae’s version of Strange Fruit. Mick Jenkins went the fuck off on this shit tho. This is definitely one of the best verses on the whole album. I mean mixtape. “Just before you forgot about him, overlooked or started doubting / I doused it with the flow and started talking all this water shit / It’s like I started drowning / In truth, the thought is pounding / I started counting the loopholes in they stories that they tell us / Every evening at like 10 when Judy Hsu is on your TV tellin’ / Songs in the key of life; you was on your Stevie.” There’s only one verse, but he fucking murdered it. That’s pretty much all I’ve got to say. There’s kind of a long winded outro, but I don’t even give a fuck because that verse was crazy. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 15: Jerome Feat. Joey Bada$$ (Prod. Kirk Knight)

This was either the second or third song that I’d ever heard from Mick Jenkins. I think it was the third. It’s easily the hardest, most aggressive track on the mixtape. It’s probably the most aggressive track I’ve ever heard from Mick Jenkins period. The production from Kirk Knight is dope af. The weird, glitchy feedback sounds in the beat are really cool. Mick’s delivery is exponentially more raspy and explosive on this track. It ALMOST sounds like he was trying to imitate Joey Bada$$. He killed the first verse. He sounds even more like Joey on the hook than he does on the first two verses. He rapped his fuckin’ ass off on this track. To be honest, I really wasn’t feelin’ that little bridge where Joey Bada$$ was singing. He needs to quit trying to sing. He sounds awful. His verse was thankfully dope af tho. His delivery seemed even more aggressive than it usually is. They both murdered this shit. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track +: Rain (Prod. Kaytranada)

Rain

I think this was the second song I’d ever heard from Mick Jenkins. It was a leftover track that didn’t make the final cut of this mixtape, which is kinda ironic because I actually like it even more than most of the other tracks on the tape. The beat is fucking fantastic. If the beats on the other songs feel like being in the middle of the ocean, this beat feels like being in a rainforest. I love the sample that Kaytranada flipped. The first verse was great, and the hook is really dope too. The second verse was awesome. “Look at my city and tell me that shit look pretty / The south side is like a blemish; like country breakfast, it’s gritty / People movin’ with purpose; the petty only get pity / Peep the proof of the purchase; I’m barely pushin’ them pennies.” This is just another great song. I don’t know why the hell he chose to leave this song off the final version of the tape. It’s dope af. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

This mixtape is fucking amazing. Honestly, if you haven’t heard this project already at this point, you fuckin’ up. I love this tape. I think it’s one of the best mixtapes I’ve ever heard. I’ve heard a lot more albums than mixtapes, but still. It’s probably my third favorite mixtape of all time behind Searching Sylvan & Act I. Again, I don’t really listen to that many mixtapes, so it’s not like it really has a lot of competition. Still tho. This is basically a free album. I love this project. If his album is anywhere near as good as this he may just end up replacing Joey Bada$$ in the list of my current 10 favorite rappers. Everything I’ve heard from this guy has been absolutely spectacular. This mixtape is incredible. Seriously, if you haven’t heard this tape already, fuck you. Haha. Just kidding. For real tho, this tape is amazing to me.

Favorite Song: Healer

Least Favorite Song: Canada Dry

Verdict:

90%

90-95

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One comment

  1. I remember when this came out and everyone was hyping it up like he was the second coming. i went in looking t hate on it just because everybody liked it but i was like damn, this whole tape is actually fire, couldn’t find one thing to dislike about it. The Healing Component was pretty dope to

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