By Jessica Wilkerson
I’ve been waiting to writing about Chicago spitta Mick Jenkins, his swervy and deep diluted beats. Last weekend, what I got was definitely a double feature of rappers Mick Jenkins and Stromae.
Free Nation artist Mick Jenkins has been hitting up venue to venue for his co-tour with DJ STWO, but got his first feel of South Florida last Friday night at Hangar 305, the former Therapy Miami. Jam packed with die hard Jenkins fans, the dim lighted venue would not be able to seize Jenkins from the fiery performance he would soon give later that night.
The constant faux air from invisible smoke machine and the straining neon spotlights gave this venue its “club feel” — which is odd, knowing Hangar resides next to the DJ addicted Club Space. The claustrophobic closet they call a venue, continued to close in on concert goers while waiting 3 hours for Mick Jenkins. He and Free Nation singer, The Mind hit the stage at 11 p.m. and permanently ceased the dull zombie looking faces many audience members shared.
The casual basketball practice attire he sported did not showcase his dressed down wear seen in most of his music videos. Though not formal, this flowy outfit let him proactively batter the stage with jumps.
Jenkins seemed to float effortlessly on the stage during his “Perception” track. The Cringeful sound effects, as if the producers for the track were aiming for people to do a Van Gogh (and cut off their ears) exploded in the crowd and caused hard heavy banging all around. Besides that, the snare had zero vibrations during the chorus and sounded as If the drummer performed the joint in a miniature pool. Jenkins later rants about media saying:
“The truth about life, the truth about what beauty is, the truth about what success is, the truth about what happiness is; What those things are and how to acquire those things. I do not think the world is on a regular basis or a general basis where we receive information from movies, like twitter, instagram. What your idea, the idea that they’re selling you what love is, what happiness is, what success is; that’s not what it is. That’s not the truth of matter, and to get to the truth of the batter you have to understand that all these places where we receive information, You are never really get the entire picture, you’re never really getting the full story. All of this shit is received from your perception, you understand what I’m saying?”
His perception spout hit home. I think messages in the media are selling dreams that are hard to counteract.
He’s a character, he can figuratively speak about water, about the truth infinitely. I think he is a messenger for what other rappers cannot say.His static inquisitive theories mesh into dynamic dynamite beats serve to his versatile style.
The Best Part
The constant rant: “Drink more water, drink more water, DRINK MORE WAAATTTTERR!!”
Last Saturday night, Belgium rapper Stromae took the stage on his Stromae Live tour at The James L. Knight Center. Attached to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, this spacious building in downtown Miami, consisted of taking an escalator just to get to venue seats.
Stromae came on at 9pm, while many people were still making their way through the crowded ticket check in. “Ta Fete” which means “party” in french, introduced the set. This wise choice reflected the aggressive fist pumps from the audience. The soft rim cuts embraced, transformed this sophisticated theater into a tiny rave club.
Also from his 2013 Racine Carrine album, the ear-catching “Tous Les Memes” kicked off the cap to Stromae’s exaggeration. “Chapter number two the piano, The Piano, THE PIANO” Stromae yells as he stretches out his mouth he exclaims while slowly slips on a red mariachi looking jacket accompanied by bright pink lipstick. Seductively strutting back and forth on stage, channeling his inner diva. Stromae’s dramatized flamboyancy soon outnumbered his exotic dance moves.
Dance moves that spoke louder than words. Such a range of odd constructive moves as If he was cast as a Nosferatu on Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. He would continuously bust a move on each song that came on, as If he could not help himself. However mimicking his energy pumped the crowd up and erupted a dance party as If It were Club Space in Miami. Visual aids were a unique feature. Digitized figures similar to the ones in the WiI game Just Dance, replaced human break dancers, aiding him in his dance-a-thon.
Although Miami was not his final stop on his North American tour, he still thanked his band mates, his family and his team for contributing to this tour. The supporting band that resembled mimes, top hats and cliche striped shirts.
Stromae’s stage presence is as contagious as his dance moves. I’ve rarely seen such a compact performance. His music spoke to me, the beats, the energy. This musical rollercoaster took me for a ride, tilting me that way and swinging me this way. My still body could not control the head bopping I was soon to encounter later that night and the uncontrollable thumping movements that would soon take over my body.
The Best Part
Besides from the hot pink lipstick, I’d say pretending to be drunk is classic. He then had to be carried, by his band back onto the stage. Crazy, right?
Jenkins served pancakes while Stromae came out with a platter of waffles. Both had distinct crowds, dress shirts and cheap prom dresses at one and baseball caps and sports memorbilia at the other. Both still filled with the oozing spirit of roudy fans. Sing alongs, alcoholic drinks fluttered at both concerts. Rappers come in many styles, and flavors, and from various backgrounds.