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or more; the anxious mixtape review

by Christopher Gutierrez

Chicago native rapper Mick Jenkins’ most recent mixtape or more; the anxious was released on November 21 following his last project the healing component which was released more than a year ago.

or more; the anxious is intended to be a bridge connecting Jenkins’ last album to his upcoming one. The 7 song mixtape, or Mickstape as the rapper cleverly named his project, approximates a 20 minute running time.

Jenkins is easily recognizable on any track as his deep, melodic, and almost haunting voice hangs over each of his songs. This mixtape is no exception to that trademark, especially at the beginning.

The mixtape begins with “Happy Gilmore”, a song meant to flex Jenkins’ abilities when it comes to the writing part of rap music. Most of the lines have bizarre connections with each other that won’t really make sense on the first listen. The punchlines on this track do leave a lot to desire, as they get more and more obscure as the song goes on. These obscure lines coupled with a basic flow, unimpressive rhyme schemes, and lackluster beat make the intro to or more; the anxious rather wanting especially when compared to the rest of the mixtape.

Following “Happy Gilmore” on the tracklist is “C Is For Cashmoney”. This is the point in the project where Jenkins’ sound really forms and the format for the rest of the tape is set out. A very calm beat accompanies a relaxed Jenkins as he sets out to be much more impressive than the first track. The chorus sets the base for him to follow through with a simple but effective flow for the whole song. The lines, rhyme schemes, and flow changes make this a very easy song to listen to and a very impressive showing for anyone who listens a little closer. All in all this track just seems to be a much better version of “Happy Gilmore”.

The third track “Layover” is when Jenkins seizes the opportunity to flex his storytelling muscles. A similar melodic beat starts up but this time with a more hypnotic feel to it, and Jenkins dives in. He tells a story about the luxury that is living as a rapper, and how uncomfortable his new riches make him. He feels much more comfortable hanging out in the ghettos and trap houses of different countries than he does in somewhere like first class.

“Gucci bag”, the fourth track, seems to build on the topic of Jenkins’ rapping ability. Overall, it is a pretty boring part of the mixtape. The beat is nothing special, and no lines really stand out in the entirety of the song. The only highlights would be Michael Anthony’s vocals on the chorus, and the outstanding aggressive style used by Jenkins in the second verse of the song.

“Vampire in Brooklyn” and “Freenation Rebels” are the fifth and sixth tracks respectively on the mixtape and they really set themselves above the rest of the project. The production of this song is simply above normal standards. Producer of “Vampire In Brooklyn” GREEN SLLIME and producer of “Freenation Rebels” Ahwlee put together some wonderful work. Jenkins perfectly countered with some of the best punchlines and rhyme schemes of the whole project. These two tracks were definitely the highpoint of the mixtape and truly show talent within all of these artists.

“Energies (ft. Saba)” closes out the mixtape on track 7 very nicely. Saba is the only feature on the project with his own verse and he uses it in a way to benefit his personal impressive talent but also in a way to contrast Jenkins to refresh the listener. Saba’s quicker rap style on this track is definitely noteworthy, and Jenkins’ ensuing calm verse perfectly closes the mixtape out. 

It was good for what it was; an experimental mixtape meant to hold fans over until a longer project is released. Huge glimpses of talent were shown by all parties involved in or more; the anxious. The mixtape holds a nice, calm tone throughout its run time that is largely impressive.

It is not without its flaws though, for instance the lack of a real story in 6 out of the 7 tracks, as well as the particularly mediocre couple of tracks. Overall, I think the project is a good 7/10 as Jenkins really does set himself apart from most rappers with his clever lyricism and interesting lines.

Jenkins’ mixtape, which is available on Soundcloud and Datpiff.

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