Artist: Mick Jenkins
Album: Pieces of a Man
Lyric Link: stress fracture
Mick Jenkins' song "Stress Fracture", a beautiful cut from his most recent album, Pieces of a Man, is a chilling and layered song about the struggles of, and what it is to be a man in today's society. He goes in depth talking about his life, success, and his extracurricular activities, if you will, and how all of those make him the man that he is. He also addresses the struggle he feels to dig into his emotions when he has such a fast moving life. He showcases this very clearly with the lines,
I don't got time to figure out how I feel, for real
I don't got a mind to figure out the fake and the real, at all
These two lines portray his struggles in his fast life of fame and glory, he is saying that his life is moving too fast for him to find out what is really bothering him, or who is bothering him. He adds on to this with the next line, talking about the fact that he knows people will try to be around him because of his success and his money but not all of them will stick around if he loses it. There seems to be a very frustrated tone in these two lines. Mick Jenkins is just a man who wants to live his life, he doesn't want to be sidetracked or pulled down by things that won't help him get where he needs to go, but the frustration is that he has to deal with it anyway, he has to dig into his emotions, he has to have a good judge of character, because that is what men have to do, whether they like it or not.
Mick Jenkins later says,
Cause I look good
I dress good
I smoke good
I stress a lot
Who do I run to?
The papers in frontal the pain that'll subdue
They can't see me undo
They can't see me undone
I'm too lit right now
I'm big on the Internet
Pretend I ain't into that
This is a very telling portion of the song. It starts off with Mick being a little bit braggadocios, as a young man might be. He loves his new found success, his money, his clothes, he gets to smoke highly potent marijuana, and all of that makes him happy, but he still has stress. No matter how good or how much one may have, your subconscious will always be there. The next line is also very telling of his struggle. He says "Who do I run to?". This is a common struggle with a man, he is going through emotions but feel he doesn't have anyone to vent to, especially because of his success, which is why he talks about his paper (money) in the next line, and says "they can't see me undo". He feels that because of his success and wealth he is not able to show his vulnerability, it will make him look weak, but he doesn't realize that it is alright to be vulnerable, he is a man, and men feel emotion, he just feels that he needs to keep things bottled up. He shows this also, by acknowledging he is famous ("I'm big on the internet") but he also knows how see through the internet really is, when he says "pretend I ain't into that", which is very telling of our society today. He wants to act like a cool guy and not worry about how he is perceived or what people think of him, but in reality, he cares. Throughout this whole song, he is talking as a man who is trying not to care about the stress and pitfalls of being a successful man, but deep down he is just a man with emotions.
What makes this song poetry to me, is the way he really showed rather than telling throughout this whole song, he never told us how he felt, he gave us clues. Another way I believe this is poetry is the fact that he never gave us a truth or a definitive answer. In the song he talks about all the ways that he is a man and all they ways he faces problems with that, but he never tells us what is actually is to be a man, or how to deal with those emotions, he allows the listener to take it for what it is, and take what they can from it, which in my opinion is the true mark of a great writer, and I think Mick Jenkins portrayed that in this piece.