Alabama to Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins returns with “Alchemy”, the first release from his upcoming Wave[s] project. It’s the first track for Jenkins since concluding touring in support of his excellent 2014 project The Water[s] which arrived last August. The Wave[s] EP is set to feature much lighter material, even though Jenkins told the Chicago Reader in a profile on him that tracks like last December’s “11” were a necessity.

When “11” came out, Jenkins had already been rapping about racism, classism, and hip-hop politics for years. His breakthrough mixtape, The Water[s], which came out in August, addresses those issues on almost every one of its 15 soul-steeped tracks. It uses water as a metaphor for knowledge, and his ambitious, sure-footed rhymes confront the cycle of poverty and violence that he sees trapping his south-side community.

Hear “Alchemy” from Mick Jenkins below, produced by Lee Bannon & themPEOPLE. Wave[s] is due out later this year.