King Louie and Mick Jenkins manipulate time with their new music | Bleader

King Louie and Mick Jenkins manipulate time with their new music

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Mick Jenkins
I gravitate toward songs that convey the feeling that time is being altered somehow, as if the world around you is slowing down, speeding up, or freezing momentarily. King Louie accomplishes this on back-to-back tracks from his new mixtape, Drilluminati 3. On "Where I Come From" Louie raps about neighbors dying in the street; he delivers his lines with a solemn grit that hints at the sense of helplessness that comes with the territory. C-Sick's somber production on "Where I Come From" employs a glistening synth line that sounds like it was ripped from a video game and given a dose of lean. It's a slow burn that seeps into the downcast "Clique'd Up," which features OVO singer PartyNextDoor cooing smoothly to set the mood and Louie rapping through a cloak of Auto-Tune. On both tracks time seems to move at a more sedate pace.

South-side rapper Mick Jenkins accomplishes a similar feat with the new "P's & Q's," off his forthcoming Wave[s] EP. Montreal "it" producer Kaytranada sets the vibe with a weepy guitar line and a stern, minimal boom-bap beat; the percussion operates at a slightly faster pace, jolting the otherwise sleepy instrumental forward every time it kicks in. Jenkins raps with speed and urgency on "P's & Q's," which makes it feel like the world around him moves at an entirely different pace. The MC does travel at his own velocity in the video for "P's & Q's," a beautiful long-shot clip that shows Jenkins walking a straight line as chaos erupts around him—kids throw water balloons, fill the sky with confetti, and wield torches emitting wild flames. Director Nathan Smith told NPR it took 15 seconds to capture the shot, which he then slowed till it was ten times its normal speed. Take a peek at the video below:

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.

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