Show: Sunday at the Fillmore. Show starts at 8 p.m.
301-960-9999. fillmoresilverspring.com. $22.
For most rappers, “THC” stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana. For Mick Jenkins, it also stands for “The Healing Component,” which, as he explains on the album of the same name, is God’s love. That type of wordplay — flipping a rap trope into a lofty idea — is a key part of Jenkins’s verbal alchemy, with lyrics that favor the Christian gospels and reject the gospel of contemporary rap.
In that way, the 26-year-old wordsmith is like Chance the Rapper and Noname, fellow Chicagoans who are updating the conscious-rap tradition for a new generation. But whereas Chance and Noname imbue their music with the joy and sorrow of gospel and neo-soul, Jenkins’s music is dark and introspective, with beats by the likes of Kaytranada, BadBadNotGood and Sango serving as warped and wobbly counterpoints to his multisyllabic attack.
But even at his most dour, Jenkins is just looking to make the world a better place. “Tell me what you know about love,” he raps on “Strange Love.” “Ain’t no right or wrong answer/ I just know we could go deeper/ It’s a story, every stanza/ Gotta speak in allegory, ‘spread love’ the new mantra.”