Pieces of a Man Image
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77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the Chicago rapper features guest appearances from Mikahl Anthony, BadBadNotGood, Julian Bell, Ghostface Killah, Ben Hixon, and Corinne Bailey Rae.
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Top Track

Barcelona
[Verse: Mick Jenkins] Look, straight up and down, I never did the crooked They offered twenty, I'm worth more, I told my nigga, book it Praise God my... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Nov 1, 2018
    86
    With Pieces of a Man, Jenkins is surely having his own Frank Ocean-esque moment--he’s expressing himself on his own terms with poignant lyricism and nuance.
  2. The Wire
    Dec 4, 2018
    80
    Pieces Of A Man is coherent, marrying the raw energy of trap with jazz-funk inspired beats. Black Milk’s instrumentals “Stress Fracture” and “Gwendolynn’s Apprehension” are remarkably complex both melodically and rhythmically. [Jan 2019, p.80]
  3. Nov 1, 2018
    76
    Though a versatile vocalist, Jenkins isn’t actually a Tier 1 rapper. His rasp can struggle when forced to take on too much, especially amid the prominent percussion and tough orchestration of something like “Ghost.” But this is a minor gripe within a major scheme. ... A gripping portrait of one human among Chicago’s 2.7 million.
  4. 75
    Pieces of a Man might not be what you whistle to in the bathroom or what you have on repeat for days, but Mick Jenkins’ lyrical and creative performance make this an album that you’ll need to return to.
  5. Nov 1, 2018
    70
    Sure, it would've been nice for Jenkins to offer even more such insightful commentary on this LP, rather than devoting the bulk of his lyrics to braggadocio. But this creative, star-studded album nevertheless showcases Jenkins' potential to fill the late Scott-Heron's shoes as a rap poet laureate.
  6. Nov 1, 2018
    60
    His lyrics have always run the risk of feeling overthought, and Pieces of a Man is no exception; for all his talent, Mick sometimes verges into dorm-room thoughts (“cottonmouth get you soon enough/wake up and realize the moon is us”) and cringeworthy high musings (“Fuck is woke if you conscious but still in the bed”). But his heart is in the right place, and his elevated lyrical aspirations steer him right more often than not.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Nov 6, 2018
    10
    Mick Jenkins has delivered an impeccable project from start to finish. this is my album of the year along with Roc Marciano - Behold a DarkMick Jenkins has delivered an impeccable project from start to finish. this is my album of the year along with Roc Marciano - Behold a Dark Horse and Black Eyed Peas - Masters of the Universe Vol, 1. Expand
  2. Mar 5, 2019
    8
    ( 85/100 )
    #BuyIt
    Conocí a Mick Jenkins cuando justo comencé a buscar y descubrir música. Es el primero de mis descubrimientos musicales
    ( 85/100 )
    #BuyIt

    Conocí a Mick Jenkins cuando justo comencé a buscar y descubrir música. Es el primero de mis descubrimientos musicales del que estoy muy orgulloso y sigo con atención. Lo descubrí con uno de mis proyectos de Hip Hop favoritos llamado "Waves" (EP) del 2015. Luego escuché su mixtape "The Waters" del 2014 que no me defraudó y desde entonces colecciono todo lo que saca. Cuando presentó su album debut, " The Healing Component" demostró que es un artista particular, enérgico, consciente y con un gusto por las conversaciones existenciales. Ahora presenta su segundo álbum llamado "Pieces Of A Man".
    Mick Jenkins nació en Huntsville, Alabama, y creció en el sur de Chicago. A sus tempranos 23 años sacó "The Water(s) y hasta ahora, antes de empezar los 30's, ya es uno de los perfiles más cotizados en la industria del Rap cultural. En "Pieces Of A Man" se identifica como un artista diferente en la industria. En su carrera hacia el reconocimiento sabe que será integrado a un grupo, pero él sabe que no encajará porque trabaja mejor solo, se entiende mejor cuando habla consigo mismo y prefiere las interacciones personales. Habla de la imagen y filosofía que tiene del presente: el habito del derroche, la importancia del consenso con la figura femenina y el inevitable e incompleto juicio al que es vulnerable (de ahí el titulo del álbum). Producido por THEMPeople y Dee Lilly con BlackMilk, KAYTRANADA, Awhlee y otros más, el álbum, al igual que en sus proyectos anteriores, se enfoca al juego de arreglos sin perturbar el ritmo base del Hip Hop. El experimento es muy agradable e interesante de escuchar. También se enfocan en no presentar nada directamente activo y se queda bajo la sombra de un ritmo pasivo, tranquilo, algo frío pero muy fluido. El éxito es indudable y, aunque le exigí mucho a Mick y KAYTRA y no es un álbum excelente, logra presentar cierta creatividad y actitud.
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  3. Nov 15, 2018
    7
    Taking his title after a legendary Gil Scott-Herron album, "Pieces of a Man" is Mick Jenkins' most ambitious project to date: a mix ofTaking his title after a legendary Gil Scott-Herron album, "Pieces of a Man" is Mick Jenkins' most ambitious project to date: a mix of conscious rap with strong jazz, soul and old-school hip-hop influences. Mixing the old with the new, the Chicago-based artist offers an album that still sounds very contemporary referencing Scott-Herron, poet Gwendolynn Brooks as well as Frank Ocean all throughout his album, positioning himself as one of those brave and honest Afro-American voices, as well as paying tribute to those who paved the way for him. A gifted vocalist and rapper, Jenkins take the listener through a politically charged and extremely reflective portrait of himself, touching on a large-scale of subjects going from religion to romantic relationships and the lavish lifestyle of successful rappers. As it is often the case with conscious rap, "Pieces of a Man" might seem a little overwhelming at first but Mick Jenkins' impressive and versatile vocals, the guest-appearances by Ghostface Killah and BADBADNOTGOOD as well as a few tracks produced by KAYTRANADA will sure make you enjoy the ride. I am not gonna lie: "Pieces of a Man" is not the kind of album you will listen to every day on your way to work but it makes for a fascinating listen - and you will undoubtedly find yourself going back to it!

    Key tracks: "Plain Clothes," "Padded Locks," "Gwendolynn's Apprehension."
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  4. Dec 4, 2018
    2
    Mick Jenkins fails to live up to the promise of The Water(s) once again. Although this is a much more impressive album than 2016's The HealingMick Jenkins fails to live up to the promise of The Water(s) once again. Although this is a much more impressive album than 2016's The Healing Component, it lacks staying power and a true evolution of Jenkins' sound. The beats on this album are nicely curated and complement his flows and timbre, and Jenkins' performance on this album ranges from serviceable to impressive, showcasing a commendable level of lyrical and performative skill when he rises to the occasion. Unfortunately, these highlights are bogged down by a lack of fulfillment that stains this record.

    Conceptually, this album's homage to Gil Scott-Heron's 1971 album of the same name is, much like some of the songs on this album, painfully underdeveloped, cropping up only whenever it seems convenient. When the album doesn't shine, it slumps along through tired, same-y and uninspired tracks that strive to exist purely on vibe alone. Jenkins' does make an effort to tackle some lofty subject matter on this album to varying degrees of success. When Jenkins fails to reach the lofty goals he sets for himself, the songs can feel contrived, pretentious and ill-conceived despite their best intentions. At times, the album appears desperate to seem deeper than it is in reality. While the sometimes excellent instrumentals provide a fitting backdrop for Jenkins' soothing, bass-y vocals, there is often a feeling of shallowness to the weaker songs on the album. On the semi-frequent filler tracks, the songwriting succeeds at developing an atmosphere but nothing much beyond that.

    As enjoyable as I find the album when I'm listening to it, I find myself being so harsh on it due to the failure on Jenkins' part to realise a potential I see in his talents. Setting up such an ambitious concept and failing to deliver on it in any meaningful way further sours my opinion, and while I would recommend this album easily to long-time fans of Jenkins' work, I would recommend newcomers to start with The Water(s). Hopefully, Mick Jenkins' next project will return to those lofty heights and his potential will be realised, but until then, if you're just hungry for more of his work, or simply love jazzy, conscious hip-hop, this album will scratch that itch.
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