A Journalist’s Dream: Mick Jenkins Alliterates in “P’s & Q’s”

Back in the Summer, Mick Jenkins released a video for “P’s & Q’s.” Imagine a shoot similar to stop-motion in ways of development. In the midst of chaos, Jenkins walks as if inner peace prevails. Instead, a matter of tunnel visual exists while destruction envelopes space. Maintaining the Chicago lifestyle Hurt Everybody and Alex Wiley both makes appearances. The creative team includes Nathan R. Smith (director), GDBYM (visuals), and Kaytranada (producer).

Water symbolizes purity, circulation, wisdom, reflection, and transition. In terms of the actual transparency, water comes in many forms: liquid-solid-vapor. Infused with neo-jazz components, the path taken in the video is a manifesto to society. Various objects such as feathered pillows, glitter, water guns, silly string, plastic cups, fire extinguishers, tissue paper, and leaf blowers create a beautiful composition of a disorder.

In a NPR interview, Nathan R. Smith detailed the concept:

“For the “P’s & Q’s” video, we wanted to shoot something with a constant flow of motion to complement Mick’s unending verse. I created the idea of Mick walking through a scene of complete chaos, yet being unaffected by everything. To create that effect, I had Mick walk backward from left to right through the entire scene as people pelted him with various items. That way, once we reversed the footage, Mick would look like the only person moving forward and everything would lift off of his body, leaving the chaos behind. Everything in the shot — the fire, water, even the train — was in-camera. We did no VFX whatsoever, and the actual shot only took 15 seconds to film at 240 frames per second, or 10 times slower than real-time. At the end of the video, the water bottle that floats into Mick’s hand symbolizes that his words and lyrics hold the truth amongst all the other nonsense people are exposed to.”

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Written by Manny King John

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