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After Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins debuted The Water[s] last year, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t come close to not paying attention to him. We would make pretty damn sure that whatever Mick released, whether it be a single or an interview would be scanned, digested and understood. Then after months of teases and previews, we finally have something new from Mick Jenkins, Wave[s] via NPR’s First Listen program.

Where The Water[s] set Jenkins up as one of the more promising voices in the Chi, Wave[s] allows moments where he wants us to dance and party. That’s where KAYTRANADA’s “Your Love” kicks in, flirtatious and fun and “The Giver” offers a vulnerable side of Mick Jenkins not often seen — the side of potential lover and purveyor of relationships. “A n*gga heart on his sleeve / girl it bleed / I’m just letting you know / you don’t gotta hit the weed / just bring your smile and a seed / I got water, we connect and it grow,” he raps on “The Giver,” before finding the eventual low of a breakup on “40 Below” even involving Eddie Murphy’s underrated Boomerang film for effect.

What Mick Jenkins looks to prove with Wave[s] is that he can do more than just motivate people and offers a glimpse into his own brain, his thoughts and aspirations as a man. There’s no need to try and figure how it compares to other Chicago releases of the year, Mick’s his own being and entity in the city. Stream Wave[s] via NPR down below.