The Lowdown: It's been two years since Mick Jenkins released his debut album, The Healing Component. Since then, the Chicago rapper has moved on from pitching love to the world in order to address deep societal issues, especially those that affect black people. On his 17-track sophomore album, Pieces of a Man, the rapper makes it easy to absorb his words as he spreads them over a blend of mellow sounds.
The ghost of Gil Scott-Heron looms large over Mick Jenkins latest LP— from the sly and socially conscious spoken word intro, to the moments where he switches from rapping to singing in a husky baritone, to the jazzy production, to, of course, the album's title. By calling his new LP Pieces of a Man — one of Scott-Heron's most influential albums upon its release in 1971 — Jenkins pays homage to one of hip-hop's forbears, while also building on that esteemed elder's considerable legacy.
That's not to say Jenkins parrots Scott-Heron ….