The Water[s] and Piñata are two of the best projects of the year so far (the best according to our Ether Report). Madlib’s collaboration with Freddie Gibbs got the best out of the Freddie by providing a cinematic backdrop to Gibb’s stories from Gary, and through that we go to watch a great rapper transform into a complete artist. Mick Jenkins is a new name to many, but after dropping The Water[s] I expect him to be here for a while. He executed his concept project perfectly, keeping to theme without sacrificing quality and vice versa. This got me to thinking about linking these two up for a Dream Collaboration.
Madlib’s career has stood on his ability to collaborate with and bring the best out of artists. His critically acclaimed Madvillainy did that for masked emcee MF Doom and he’s also half of Jaylib, a collaborative effort with the late J Dilla which gave us Champion Sound. Early this year Madlib’s collaboration with Freddie Gibbs came out and was immediately heralded as a favorite for album of the year. Piñata was a shining moment for Freddie because of Madlib’s input. Past releases featured Gibbs rhyming on hard hitting track after track. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but what Madlib did was take Gibbs’ sound, slow it down, and puff it with clouds of smoke that we know played a major part in the recording process that brought a new life to Gibbs’ music.
Mick Jenkins had music out prior to the release of The Water[s], but the well thought out concept album set him off. For fifteen tracks, he submerges the listener in his Waters delivering a conscious album with plenty of replay value to keep this one in your playlists. Our Hip Hop Panel reviewed this mixtape and we were all impressed with Mick’s ability to drive this concept home track to track, verse to verse. The aquatic sounding production and constant references to Water were backed by a rapper that possessed wit, flow, and a fierce delivery.
Now I said Mick submerged us for fifteen tracks straight, but there were sixteen on the mixtape. That’s because that last track, “Jerome,” was the only track that set itself apart from the rest of the mixtape – and it’s also a song that sounds like it would play right into Madlib’s hands. “Jerome” was an abrasive record where Mick set out to let us know he wasn’t a one trick pony. Though produced by Pro Era’s Kirk Knight, the dirty instrumental sounds like it could have been a leftover from Madlib’s Rock Konducta and an amazing collaboration between Mick Jenkins and Madlib.
The Water[s] was a hit with us due to the substance, but you can tell that Mick is dying to show that he’s to be taken seriously for his pure rap ability. What better way than to link up with a producer who brings out the best in a rapper like that?
Excuse my french, but fuck a track. These two need to do a full length concept album together, atleast an EP. Equipped with everything from the visual and all. The idea is enough to make us wonder what would materialize. If this was official fans may salivate at what could be. Even if it was just a track. There’s no history between the two other than Mick stating that he likes some of Madlib’s production.
We know how these two get down when it’s time for a full length concept album. We know that Madlib’s is a beast behind the boards. We know that Mick is greatness waiting to happen. I know there hasn’t been much time for this to happen, but until then…
Why haven’t they collaborated yet?