Most underground hip-hop fans know the name Mick Jenkins. He is the Chicago emcee that has taken the nation by storm since releasing his debut project The Waters. If you are familiar with Mick, you know three things about him. He loves water, he likes ginger ale, and he does it for the “free”. While all of them have their varying levels of confusion, it is the last one that brings light to this post. Mick is part of a collective named “Free Nation”, as you can see at the top of his projects. However, he has yet to feature any of his brethren on his national releases, making it hard for fans to connect the collective with names and faces. One of the members, Philadelphia’s Maine the Saint, has decided to strike out on his own and make a name for himself with his new visual “Long Way” featuring Luch Scrilla and produced by Jake J.
The hazy visual, directed by Marleaux Desire’, is the perfect compliment to the syrupy production of the track. Maine uses his canvas to paint the picture of the day to day grind. It’s clear that while he has a crew member who has reached new levels of success, he is still striving to cut out his own lane. The challenge is one that he accepts head on, as he raps “But still I rise, through these Maya Ange-lows/ I look my demons in my eyes, I thank my savior for my woes/”. The life of a working artist can be trying, leaving little time for empty social interactions. It is during these times, one can see who is truly a friend. This a sentiment that Maine expresses through the chorus.
“I got people in my life that think I’m caught up in my old ways/ Hate my 9-5 but something’s gotta get the bills paid/ I been clockin in, clockin in and grinding all day/ If I hit your line, just know I f*ck with you the long way”. Press play and you will probably feel a similar ways about the track.