Mick Jenkins is about to follow up 2021’s Elephant In The Room. The Chicago rapper has announced The Patience, a new album dropping next month, and shared a video for its JID collab “Smoke Break-Dance.” Before we get to the music, a word from Jenkins on the overall project:
The Patience: As best I can be, I am a person who does everything within his power to change his situation. I think with some level of consistency, that behavior inevitably leads you to a point where you have to wait. A point where the things that now need to happen to move you forward are no longer in your control. I see this as a period of time in one’s journey, no matter the length, where the unseen things must take place; The muscles must tear and repair, the understanding of a concept coming to you in a moment completely devoid of artistic intention. It’s through these moments where I’ve found myself being the most frustrated with patience.
And this body of work sounds like that frustration.
Our first instance of these ideas in action is “Smoke Break-Dance,” a Stoic-produced, piano-jazz-inflected track that feels just off-kilter enough that every new downbeat feels fresh. Jenkins and JID both make good use of all the space in the beat, and director Andre Muir’s video is similarly engaging. The standout line on first pass belongs to Jenkins: “I know they can smell me, though/ I know they can see a motherfucker comin’ from a mile away/ I ain’t sendin’ smoke signals, big smoke send signals either way, don’t it?” But JID’s borderline sing-song flow is mesmerizing even beyond the bounds of language. Watch below.
The Patience is out 8/18 on Cinematic.