mick jenkins wonders, can a black man be “carefree”?

January 3, 2020
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Don’t let the title of Mick Jenkins‘ new Black Milk-produced song, “Carefree” fool you. The first single from his forthcoming album, Circus, is no mindless, happy-go-lucky ode to good times. Instead, like much of the output from the Chicago poet-turned-MC, it’s a nuanced, cinematic description of the complexities of life for a Black boy trying to experience joy in America. Even in the midst of partying and bullshitting, or reveling in the success that affords him a nice car, he’s got to be on guard for police violence. The scenarios he recounts beg the question: Is there really such a thing as “carefree” for a Black man living in a police state?