[Review] Mick Jenkins and Smino take their “Quest For Love” to Chicago

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Photo courtesy of Redbull

When I was invited to the Red Bull Sound Select Presents: The Quest For Love Tour with Mick Jenkins and Smino I was excited…mostly excited that I did not wait in line. The cool thing about the Red Bull Sounds concert series is that the shows are only $3 with an RSVP, which is a great price for a concert. I’ve paid ignorant prices for concerts before. But there was no guaranteed admission, and being a huge fan of concerts I know general admissions means a long wait outside. So of course I was excited to be invited for that reason, but also to see both Mick Jenkins and Smino. I unfortunately missed Mick Jenkins at Pitchfork because of conflicting set times. I had heard about Smino in passing, but hadn’t heard his music before. Either way, with a complimentary happy hour before, I knew it would be a good night.

An interesting thing about Red Bull concerts is that they make custom drinks inspired by the artist. I had the Mick Jenkins drink, but since I’m not a fan of alcohol, even though it was an immaculate, exquisite drink it was a no go for me.

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Photo courtesy of Redbull

Kweuku Collins opened up the show. From Evanston, I’ve seen him before, and I thought he was a good match with the theme of love for the show. I haven’t listened to his Nat Love mix tape, but from hearing it live, I believe it may be worth a listen.

Smino was next and I had no idea what to expect. Nowadays, going into hip hop concerts doesn’t mean it will be a rapper. For all you know, it could be a poet, a spoken word artist, who knows.

Smino is a singer/rapper who has a beautiful voice and message and I’m embarassed I wasn’t a fan of him before, but glad I caught him before he blew up so now I can officially say, “I knew you when.” Since I hadn’t heard of music before, I wasn’t familiar with his songs from his two EPs “S!Ck S!Ck S!Ck” and “Blkjuptr,” but I would describe it as “contemporary soul with rap as its older brother.”  Lets just say I’ve been streaming the EPs since the show.

Mick Jenkins finished the show, playing music from entire catalog, from his mixtapes including “The Water[s]” and his debut album that was just released “The Healing Component.” He seemed quite comfortable on stage and the crowd loved him, and I don’t think it’s because he had hometown advantage.

Stream music from Kweku Collins, Smino and Mick Jenkins below.

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