Last Tuesday, Los Angeles was given the opportunity to experience the perfect example of hip hop from the heart.

As a first timer at the Bootleg Theatre and seeing the underground sensations Mick Jenkins and Smino, this night was building up to be quite the event.

We arrived at the venue around 8:30 pm only to be slapped with a line that was looking to be close to a mile long. One glance of the theatre and it was clear that not everyone would be able to join the Quest. As we made our way inside the Red Bull staff told us that there had been a line since 3pm. Max capacity was set at 300 and they hit that within the first hour of opening the doors.


The theatre had three different rooms; two of them situated with a stage and one was situated as a lounge area with a bar, couches, chairs, table and a photo booth. We soon made our way to the room that would host the two artists. It had a few rows of stadium seating in the back but was mainly standing room and it was clear to us why they had to cut the line so quick. At around 9:30 the soulful, St. Louis native who goes by Smino took the stage to kick off the show. His stage presence and music as a whole was enough to suck in anyone whether they were an avid fan or a first time listener. After performing some original tracks he made sure to bring it back to his St. Louis roots and throw down some Nelly. Needless to say the crowd was fully hyped and it was like the year 2000 all over again.  He performed for about an hour and handed the crowd back off to the local DJ.


As soon as it turned 10pm everyone knew the time was finally here. Mick Jenkins took the stage and was greeted with a theatre full of cheering and love. He instantly got the crowd into it by doing his cliché “Drink more water” and opened with Jazz, a banger off his infamous The Water(s). He followed that up with a few tracks off his newest project The Healing Component but did a really balanced set of newer and older songs.

He paused at one point for a breath and some water (yes he drank more water) when a fan yelled “Freestyle!” This brought a hush over the crowd and at first Mick just giggled about it. Following that chuckle he threw down a beat and spit raw bars for a solid minute and a half. Seeing an artist tap into their true creative side is what makes for such an immersive experience especially when the setting is so intimate. He played his last song then gave a really well said speech about what’s going on in society right now and how he feels each and every individual has the chance to bring about change. Mick then walked off to chants off encore and one more song (mainly 514). A few minutes later after the crowd had already began to funnel out he was back for two final songs.


The passion, energy and soul that the two artists brought to the Bootleg Theatre will forever leave a mark on all those who got to witness such greatness. The Quest For Love Tour is a must see if they stop by your town. As we made our way out the Red Bull staff handed out some amazing cookies and I’ll for sure be looking for more of those at future Red Bull Sound Select events. I mean …who doesn’t like cookies?

SminoT | S

Mick Jenkins: F | T | S

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