Jared Star Trek

DJ Red drinks more water for this review. Artwork by Sarah Faulkner.

- Jared Chesnut - BlazeRadio DJ/Operations Manager
redc@uab.edu

Disclaimer: Red Bull kindly and generously provided transport, lodging, and access to Mick Jenkins’ performance in Nashville. That said, the views and opinions of the album are solely those of the author.

My first exposure to Mick Jenkins was a cram study session ahead of his October gig for Red Bull Sound Select in Nashville. For whatever reason his name was one that I hadn’t really paid attention to around the studio. That said, what little I had time to hear from the Huntsville native set up some solid expectations, which were absolutely met on a cold October night in the packed full Exit/In. Between a constant flow between styles, messages, and a treatise to “drink more water,” Jenkins carried a charisma on-stage with him that boosted his material. It was after that fact that I got a hold his late September release “The Healing Component.”

At first listen there are some key themes that find their way through the vast majority of the album: water, religion and faith, and, if the title of the album and opening track wasn’t clear enough, a profound appreciation of weed. Most of the lyrical content is a mix of conflict, race, religion, and addressing a world divided by an insistence on maintaining a positive mental attitude. It’s inner peace from equal parts THC and Jesus. Jenkins displays a pensive, almost introverted approach to his verses that read like wisdom from a soul far older than his 25 years. Throughout the album there’s a very straightforward, simple message: in the presence of hate, spread love.

Jared Star Trek

Mick Jenkins on stage in Nashville's Exit/In. Photo courtesy of Will Clifton.

It’s that obsession with that key necessity of life that also impacts the album’s sonic content. There’s a near constant ebb and flow of styles, from the bluesy, chain gang spiritual-esque “Drowning” and its deep tones to “Spread Love” and its early '90s R&B inspired MIDI keys, and everything in between. The album takes a broad approach in regards to style, which plays to Mick’s comfort switching between singing over guitar riffs and rapping to quasi-EDM beats. At the core of THC, however, is a constant theme of water. A majority of the album’s 15 tracks are prefaced by chopped, screwed, and distorted interview clips that almost feel like they become clearer as the ending gets closer and Jenkins’ definition of “water” is further detailed. In both lyrical content and production that theme is extolled in its versatility: “Drowning” and “F!@#$ Up Outro” feel like being dragged under the tide, while in “Fall Through” the track escalates to a rush through some rapids. By the time “Angles” comes up and Chicago rapper Noname drops some spoken verse delivery of her bars, water’s already had a clear description: part font of vitality, part powerful obstacle, part fun trip and in its own right a prevalent and necessary part of the world comprised of multiple elements.

Track Takes: All Hail King Kendrick

Black PantherAt this rate, Kendrick Lamar is the King Midas of Hip-Hop: meaning that anything that he touches turns to gold. The Black Panther soundtrack is no different, as the album, curated by Lamar and Top Dawg, is an aural masterpiece. The soundtrack seems like it will tie in perfectly, which will be released on Thursday. The much anticipated album has an all star cast of artists lending their talents, which include Kendrick Lamar himself, TDE labelmates SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, as well as A-List artists such as Khalid, The Weeknd and Travi$ Scott.

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Red Planet Reviews - "The Healing Component" by Mick Jenkins

Jared Star Trek

DJ Red drinks more water for this review. Artwork by Sarah Faulkner.

- Jared Chesnut - BlazeRadio DJ/Operations Manager
redc@uab.edu

Disclaimer: Red Bull kindly and generously provided transport, lodging, and access to Mick Jenkins’ performance in Nashville. That said, the views and opinions of the album are solely those of the author.

My first exposure to Mick Jenkins was a cram study session ahead of his October gig for Red Bull Sound Select in Nashville. For whatever reason his name was one that I hadn’t really paid attention to around the studio. That said, what little I had time to hear from the Huntsville native set up some solid expectations, which were absolutely met on a cold October night in the packed full Exit/In. Between a constant flow between styles, messages, and a treatise to “drink more water,” Jenkins carried a charisma on-stage with him that boosted his material. It was after that fact that I got a hold his late September release “The Healing Component.”

Read more

Birmingham Big Battle - Callie Wilson(c) vs Shaheed & DJ Supreme

- Jared Chesnut - BlazeRadio DJ/Operations Manager
redc@uab.edu

Before we get to the "tale of the tape", perhaps its best to fill you in on what kind of showdown we've got here.

Birmingham Big Battle is a 1v1, winner stays on competition between some of the best local artists and bands. Each week, the champion takes on a new challenger, with the winner decided via voting from our listeners on Twitter (@blazeradio, in case you were wondering). Voting runs through to the next Wednesday, where we'll announce the champ on that week's show.

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Coloring Book: A Blessing and a Miracle

Coloring Book: A Blessing and a Miracle

- DJ Swole - BlazeRadio DJ

Chance the Rapper released his highly anticipated third mixtape “Coloring Book” on Thursday, May 12th, through Apple Music. The independent artist who hails from Chicago release 14 songs with features from stars such as Young Thug, Lil Wayne, and Kirk Franklin. This mixtape is a follow up to his very well received mixtapes “10 Day” and “Acid Rap”. I took time to listen to it and this is what I came up with.

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