For Mick Jenkins’ latest single, he’s enlisted Canadian jazz-experimentalists BADBADNOTGOOD as producers. The song starts with a steadily descending bassline, with cowbell and clicking percussion accompanying Jenkins’ crooning falsetto. But eventually, the song explodes with a fiercely rapped verse and a dusty breakbeat over wailing guitar, bass improvisations and echoing vocals.
BADBADNOTGOOD are masters of atmosphere and use haunting synthesisers throughout the song with vintage reverb being smothered on Jenkins’ vocals – their analogue recording techniques and Jenkins’ modern hip-hop sensibilities making this a truly interesting pairing. His repeated reference to drug use seems to be a commentary of hip-hop trends rather than an endorsement, a stronger meaning comes through especially when coupled with his falsetto Eric Garner quoting as he sings “I can’t breathe”. These are two artists that experiment in their own lyrical and instrumental fields, making this collaboration more sensible than it first seems.