Mick Jenkins has many flows, and Mick Jenkins has many poses.

The 24-year-old rapper screws himself to a knee-high stool in Complex’s in-house studio in midtown Manhattan. At the photographer’s request, Jenkins removes his forest camo snapback and tosses it to my feet. His schoolboy shorts and hiked crew socks flatter his bent, colossal height. Jenkins whips his dreads and knuckles the sleep from his eyes. As the photographer ducks, dashes, and snaps around him, Jenkins yawns. He is shaking himself awake.

While he’s in town for the week to promote his new music and take a few meetings, Jenkins is spending his nights on-stage or else in the crowd of various New York music venues. Just last night, he performed at the Up & Down near Manhattan’s Meatpacking district.

When asked who else was at the show, Jenkins laughs.

“Chedda da Connect,” he says. He does the cooking motion with his wrist to signify Chedda’s signature song without saying its name. “That guy.”

Jenkins is quick to admit that his favorite music is mostly stuff of the recent past—Sade, Maxwell, and Bilal—with contemporary exceptions made for Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. At one point, Jenkins confides that Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly is the only contemporary rap album that he listened to while recording his own new project, Wave[s]. And while Kanye is a lifelong musical hero, Jenkins isn’t shy about drawing the line on some of Mr. West’s more recent output.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was very cold,” Jenkins says, “but I just thought it was very misogynistic. I’m big on content, and I could not fuck with the content.”

Mick Jenkins is a conscientious rapper. If he’d been born a decade earlier, Mick Jenkins might’ve signed to Ubiquity or Rawkus. As it stands, Mick Jenkins is signed to Cinematic Music Group, an indie roster that also includes Joey Badass and Smoke DZA. Cinematic seems an ideal fit for Jenkins, who evinces minimal interest in radio singles or the advantages of major label support. He credits his parents (rather than FM radio) as the source of his childhood musical influences; his mother was big into neo-soul, and his father listened to contemporary black gospel.

“I been listening to the same music for a very long time,” Jenkins says. “If I add new music, it’s because of a referral from a friend. I have a playlist of music that I don’t really defer from.”

He’s “neo-soul,” he’s “conscious,” he’s proudly antiquated. Mick Jenkins is a thinking fan’s rapper who doesn’t resent mainstream, crossover hip-hop so much as he simply ignores it. As a man who’s averse to popular trends and mainstream hype, Jenkins swears that he doesn’t pay much attention to music blogs, either. “There’s a million ways for you to hear music without going to a blog,” Jenkins says. “I go to shows. There’s a ton of ways.”