Concert Review: Mick Jenkins & The Underachievers

Mick Jenkins & Underachievers.jpg

By Zoë Reid

Artist: Mick Jenkins And The Underachievers

Date / Venue: Wednesday March 21st, 2018 - The Powerstation, Auckland

Chicago’s finest wordsmith, rapper Mick Jenkins returns after a brilliant Laneway Festival set in January, and this time he’s crossed state lines to partner with New York duo The Underachievers for one massive hip-hop double bill at Auckland’s Powerstation.

After missing two long haul flights to be here, Mick Jenkins arrived on stage in the best possible mood. His energy and tenacity was what I could never imagine someone being capable of after the multiple lay overs, and issues he had faced immediately beforehand.

Currently fresh off the release of his debut studio debut album “THC (The Healing Component)”, Mick Jenkins, the Alabama-born-Chicago-raised rapper made some bold personal political statements with some credible rhymes.

His attitude was contagious throughout the crowd, and from start to finish everyone appeared to be having the best time, you could feel it in the air. He completely succeeded my expectations in every way, from his stage presence to his lyricism, he gave an absolutely stellar performance.

Jenkin’s first release, 2013’s “Trees and Truths” mixtape caught the ears of Chicago’s scene-makers with its acid jazz-influenced production, biblical allegory and lacerating lyricism, which he turned on for the vocal Auckland crowd.

Unfortunately, at one point in the night he had to call out a rude fan who jumped onto the centre stage, saying “You lucky I didn’t deal with you in a different way, that’s disrespectful”. The fan ruined it for only a brief moment and then Mick, although slightly irritated bought it back and continued his stunning show without a hitch.

You can tell Mick Jenkins is a very intelligent man, his lyrics and themes throughout his work such as Love and Seeking Truth really highlight that. The way he can tell a story through his movements and tone is a truly powerful thing. Water was a running theme throughout the night, with Jenkins hyping the crowd up to “drink more water”, a nod to his popular The Water(s) album. Water to him is a reference of truth and he explained he was encouraging us to “Chase our own truth.”

I thought it was an unusual choice that he didn’t play some of his major hits, such as Jazz or Vibe. However, the concert itself didn’t feel like it was lacking them in any way, the man put on a real show and something very special happened that night.  With hits like ‘So Devillish’, ‘Gold Soul Theory’ and ‘Herb Shuttles’, The Underachievers are making their way out of their Flatbush, New York and taking their sweet sounds to a whole new global high.

For a guy with such grit and power, it was a beautiful contrast seeing him get the crowd to sing ‘Spread Love’ throughout the night back to him. For him to pull that off and have it not be a cheesy moment in the slightest, but instead an immensely genuine one, was one of the highlights of the night for sure. Wellington, it’s your turn tonight – you lucky buggers.  Get along and see one of the best artists you’ll see this year. You’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t.