And that mentality is exactly what Smino and Monte follow on blkswn. We just keep looking at this shit and refreshing it. You get sucked in. If people got off social media for a week, they’d realize they not fully experiencing life.
smino tour merch – Noir (Smino Album)
Christopher Smith Jr — or as most know him — Smino, is bringing his current The Hoopti Tour” to Denver next week. Handsome Tours and Astral People are excited to announce that Smino will be travelling to Australia and New Zealand for performances in Sydney and Melbourne, alongside appearances at Laneway Festival in Jan- Feb 2019.
Smino’s biggest show to date was his Lollapalooza performance last weekend. He drew a sizable crowd for so early in the day, and he more than brought it with his full band, including Silent Party Music, guitarist Brian Sanborn and a team of dancers and backup vocalists along with guest Jean Deaux. While he’s always going to rep St. Louis—he even brought out Allen, his longtime friend from his hometown—it was clear as the local crowd chanted “Zero Fatigue” that Chicago, whether he wants it to or not, has adopted him.
Hot Girl Meg is already an urban legend. You can see her on the cover of Fever, looming over a luxury auto in skin-tight leopard print as flames and horses erupt behind her. It’s the undeniable movie poster aesthetic of blaxploitation icons like Pam Grier’s Coffy. It’s a perfect fit for rapper Megan Thee Stallion, whose music channels a Southern rap tradition full of larger-than-life figures like Trina, Gangsta Boo, and her hero Pimp C.
I don’t give a fuck. Them niggas are going to leave and say ‘nigga.’ With me, if you’re at the show and you end up saying ‘nigga,’ I’m not going to be like, ‘Hey! Stop the music Put them out the fucking show.’ I’m just going to be like, ‘Ha, look at this nigga.’ This shit just happened to me. I was in this white nigga’s face rapping my shit. I was about to get to the point where I say ‘nigga’ and I had to turn because I knew he was about to say this shit.
Dubbed the Hoopti Tour after a song off his second studio LP, November’s Nøir, the St. Louis native brought with him dual support: Chicago producer Phoelix (Michael E. Neil) and Atlanta rap duo EarthGang. The latter proclaimed a special place in their hearts for Austin.
This concert was by far my favorite. I walked in not knowing Phoelix was performing but he opened the show beautifully. Then EARTHGANG comes in and hypes us up. They are amazing performers and they actually sound better in concert just like Smino. Smino is really my favorite performer now and that live band made everything more amazing. Overall this was the best concert I have been to. I hope that they all become bigger than the most popular artists right now.
Nevertheless, Megan Thee Stallion is picking up the baton for Southern hip-hop with a quick tongue and trunk rattling beats optimized for twerking. She inherited the legacy from her mother, as well as an unstoppable work ethic, the kind that kept her from cancelling shows even after her mother’s tragic death this spring because I know she wouldn’t want me to stop.” Not long ago, a buzzy mixtape rapper signing to a major label like 300 Entertainment was a one-way ticket to clunky albums overstuffed with radio bait. Fever’s cohesion is a testament to Megan’s talent and dedication. Look forward to partying with Hot Girl Meg all summer.
While in school, Smino met engineer Chris “Classick” Inumerable, who became his closest friend and is now his manager. Smino’s cousin Drea also took a vested stake in his burgeoning career, bringing him around Chicago’s art and music scenes and introducing him to established artists like Stefan Ponce, Grammy-nominated producer for the likes of Vic Mensa and Childish Gambino.
The more you know a motherfucker. We didn’t really make Noir together. I started doing my own kind of shows because n-as got checks for Monte. He needs to go DJ over there, and I get checks doing this. Him growing and me growing, it makes both of us grow. We grew more as brothers and understanding each other. We lived together, worked through hella shit. Real life brother shit. And now us putting out Noir and feeling like, damn we ain’t really make it together. We made songs together and it’s easy for us to make music, but now we’re back to being more meticulous with it.
I started this year by taking all the social media apps off of my phone because at the end of last year I was on Twitter one day like, this shit is lowkey dumb unless I’m getting money or advertising. It’s not dumb but it’s dumb. We just keep looking at this shit and refreshing it. You get sucked in. If people got off social media for a week, they’d realize they not fully experiencing life. You’d see a little different.
Chicago-via-St. Louis rapper Smino has shared KLINK” from his forthcoming sophomore album NØIR. His longtime producer Monte Booker loops a dense flamenco guitar riff that Smino commands with characteristically frenzied flows and a hook like Future ‘s cracking King’s Dead” falsetto on Adderall. The song follows the Sango -produced L.M.F.” as the album’s second single.
No song sounds alike. Production is broad. Hard! Real hard-hitting. Yep! I’m hearing a potential anthem with this hook. The flow needs a flu shot. The drop doesn’t come when you expect it, that’s a nice touch. Keep me on my toes. Something about this record feels like a commercial break. Strange placement at the end of the album, but I’m glad it’s here.
That was his clone! Quincy Jones has a clone. These people don’t even ever meet their clones, its sad. To sum it all up though, the future is going to be two Smino albums dropping simultaneously. My clone dropping one and me dropping one at the same time.
Every track or project Smino has released so far usually credits its production to Monte Booker in the liner notes. Smino and Monte are each other’s secret weapons. Both have made laudable music on their own, but together they are a force to be reckoned with. Monte himself is producing some of the most engrossing beats across the city. As much as this album is Smino’s chance to prove himself, it is also Monte’s. The songs produced together offer more of the same, but that is in no way a shortcoming. If something isn’t broken, why fix it? And that mentality is exactly what Smino and Monte follow on blkswn.
OH! Now, this is a sudden switch up. I need Uncle Luke or Too Short on this one. The drums are rattling and the bass is a wild beast off the leash. Smi’s flow is so laid-back despite there being an earthquake all around him. A Squidward and Bikini Bottom bar. Getting strong Lil Wayne nostalgia from the verse. 2008 Carter III leak Wayne. Loving this one. VALEE!! Oh shit. His flow is perfect for this beat. Damn, I’m convinced Valee doesn’t write raps but raps his journal entries. He has created a form of rap that’s a lifestyle status update over thumping production. Not a slight, he could rap his grocery list and I would be captivated.
On his sophomore album, ‘NOIR,’ Smino uses his diverse palette to explore the creative margins of his sound and style. They love my music. They show that shit to everybody. Christopher Smith Jr (born October 2, 1991), better known by his stage name Smino, is a rapper from St. Louis. He combines hip-hop with funk and soul influences.
The first feature of the album belongs to rising star, Ravyn Lenae. Lenae, a Chicago native, released her sophomore EP Midnight Moonlight 11 days prior to blkswn, and brings every bit of the same quality to her guest appearance on the album. On Glass Flows,” Ravyn Lenae sings with the ethereal quality of a harp, as she and Smino dance in a figurative sword fight of sounds. The effervescent nature of the beat compliments the game of hide-and-go-seek that Smino and Lenae play. The only thing smoother than her voice may be the way that each song on the album transitions into the next.
This level-headed section is more of a logical and poetic argument. The two halves contrast each other nicely and add a unique recurring component to the track. Smino’s animated delivery and clever wordplay also contribute to making SKEDOS” a noteworthy song.
Now, this is what I love. How his a cappella vocals are stacked and how the beat builds around him is brilliant. The bounce is infectious as the chicken pox. Another Follies shoutout. The acclaimed strip club is slowly becoming mentioned more than Magic City. The Lion King and Belly are two movies that will forever make for grabbing rap lyrics. Songs like L.M.F.” are where Smino sounds like a natural evolution of a music world that was once dominated by Nelly, T-Pain, and Lil Wayne. He has the lines that make you rewind, mixed with the melodies and songwriting that appeals to a broad audience of ears. L.M.F.” is a fleshed-out record that shows all sides of Smino. I love the breakdown at the end. Footwork on Lei Wulong from Tekken.
Hood Rat Sht” opens with a sample of a 2008 viral video, a 7-year-old explaining his desire to do hoodrat stuff” with his friends. The uptempo drums bounce around cavernous piano chords with gleeful menace like a gaggle of unsupervised kids. Megan’s rhymes launch into double time in the lead-up to the chorus, which she spits like a playground taunt. In the third verse, she gives an evocative example of the title: she’s at the strip club drinking Henny from a champagne glass, eating chicken wings with a thick bih” who’s dancing like the diamonds in her necklace. Her swaggering flow sounds like the reincarnation of Pimp C, with the tall tale verses to match.
Last year’s blkjptr EP showed Smino at his most polished. Rap bars effortlessly grew into spirited harmonies about complicated relationships and the dangers of social media. Earlier this week, he announced that his debut album blkswn would be dropping on Tuesday, March 14—an homage to St. Louis’ 314 area code. The 18-track project is a seamless evolution of blkjptr, with all production handled by his in-house collaborator Monte Booker. Some standouts include his single “Anita,” which features an animated flow and gives spotlight to a love interest. “Netflix & Dusse” is a dreamy take on the quintessential millennial date. He and Ravyn Lenae let their falsettos shine on “Glass Flows.” While he was in Brooklyn, Smino and I spoke about his musical growth, getting away from social media, and the process of making a debut album.
L.M.F” and PIZANO” also have potential but suffer from gaping imperfections. For instance, the 11-track PIZANO” kicks off with a mesmerizing first verse where Smino spits at lightning speed over a lucid beat packed with kicking bass. However, the lackadaisical writing for the second verse causes the latter half of the song to lag. If that wasn’t enough, the hook is nonsense as well, so it is difficult to advocate for the track despite the promising first verse.
Smino’s seated at the piano, tickling out some chords, but his attention is elsewhere. It’s a Tuesday afternoon in Times Square, at the Billboard office, and the St. Louis MC plucks LeBron James’s name from a nearby conversation, then cuts his innocent keyboard flex short to make a little announcemnt to the room: “It’s over for the Lakers.” The room cackled with laughter.
Honestly, yeah, but not about a tour. We spoke about different things like music, shows. It’s a thing where we’re friends first, so there’s no pressure on nobody We never pressure each other to do it or finish it. We’re just doing it.
I would say I’m very proud of myself and to call this album mine. I really worked my ass off and I stuck with the family the whole way. It’s me and Monte the whole way and my boy Felix stepped in a few times. All people that I’m good friends with. I think my core fans would really be proud too.
Though her profile has risen to the level of Drake Instagrams and Khalid features, Megan Thee Stallion does not make pop music. She raps, she’s excellent, and she knows it. I’m a real rap bih, this ain’t no pop sht,” she ad-libs victoriously on her first song Realer.” Sure, pop music has eagerly siphoned from rap this decade, but rappers have been drawing lines in the sand since Q-Tip said Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop” in ‘91. Nowadays, the A Tribe Called Quest auteur is still pushing rap forward as an executive producer for Fever.
The opening track, “Kovert,” sets the tone for Noir. As the track begins, Smino sings and raps in his reedy, high-pitched head voice over ethereal background vocals—but as the instrumental gets funkier, he starts rapping more and singing less.
After finding a new favorite in Phoelix, patrons of the April 1 show will receive a treat in rap duo EarthGang. The two began their musical journey together in their high school days and stuck to the grind, coming out with two albums, two EPs and three compilation albums before they were signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records in 2017. The two’s most recent project, Mirrorland, has two singles currently out but no release date for the album as a whole. If Proud of U” is any indication, the rappers will serve as a perfect party to rev up the stage for Smino.
Despite these major positives, there are still loose ends on the project that drag down its overall experience. For instance, on FENTY SEX” Smino lays a slick chorus over a hip-swaying instrumental, and the combination of a morphing bass and quirky xylophone pattern create an original sound. Everything about this track is fantastic until Dreezy halts the song’s momentum like a wall of bricks. The rapper ruins the song with her cheesy joke at the beginning of her verse and her weak lines, like A— like a cinnamon roll, head and p— game strong,” which is the last line of the closing verse, leaving Smino no opportunity to recover the track.
Even if Simon Says” is entirely ghostwritten, the Three 6 Mafia homage is far from an aberration in Megan’s catalog, or even on Fever. Juicy J produced two other album cuts, future strip club anthems Pimpin” and Dance.” Fellow co-founder Project Pat contributes to W.A.B.,” built around a sample of the group’s Weak Azz Bih.” Three 6’s influence is apparent in so many strains of modern hip-hop, but on Fever Megan places the Memphis collective alongside Houston and New Orleans in a firmly Southern context. The album concludes with Megan declaring herself Hot Girl Meg from the motherfkin’ South,” and it doesn’t feel like a conclusion, just a tantalizing cliffhanger promising further misadventures.
Smino’s now focused on his upcoming project. Last month, he released a soulful song called “Kajun” with Jean Deaux and Phoelix. “That’s going to be on the project. I’m not calling it the single, it was just something I thought the world needs—a relaxing song about being happy.” He played some songs off the forthcoming project, including one that references INOJ’s “My Boo,” and I believed him when he told me, “This is the best music I have made in my life to this day. Period.” Also produced almost entirely by Booker, the upcoming mixtape also comes from a more mature perspective: “Everything I was really trying to say on ‘BlkJuptr’ is really going to be said on this project,” Smino said.
Anything but my music. I feel like I always answer every question about my songs, in my songs, and if you didn’t get it then ‘what did you think it meant?’ That’s kind of how I like to leave that shit. It’s like a painting. Five different people are going to look at it and have different interpretations, same with music. People turn up to some of my songs that I think are actually slow, it’s confusing but motherfuckers do it.
Ghetto Sage’s three members have quietly teased the new project through Twitter over the last week, sharing teaser-y photos and a rhetorical retweet of a simple question from XXL: Name an album you can listen to without skipping a single song. All three know that fans are hungry for a new project, after each released albums last year — though there’s no word of a Ghetto Sage record yet.
Deaux, Drea, Via Rosa and Lenae are joined on the album by Akenya, who enters the picture near the album’s end. In Silk Pillows,” Smino offers a silk pillow to his overnight guest. The cultural relevance of silk pillows as a barrier of protection in the absence of hair bonnets is clear—and not just for his guest, but for Smino as well (silk pillows keep my head smooth,” he raps). Looking out for a sister instead of demanding a more polished” look or even putting down another batch of women for weaves and mascara isn’t Smino’s game. While providing a woman’s touch, Akenya’s voice ironically is silk, retaining a vintage quality that mimics that of a record player— a real Billie Holiday-esque feel.
NOIR is candid and intricately constructed down to the most minute of details. It is also the best representation of Smino himself: profoundly intelligent, awash in emotional depth, yet not afraid to just have a good time.
His debut studio album, blkswn was released to critical acclaim on March 14, 2017. His second studio album, NØIR, was released on November 8, 2018. To look at the city now, the diversity of the St Louis sound is notable. Smino himself is a prime example of how the current generation of Missouri-born rappers are changing up the game.
Of course, when Smino exited the stage, the crowd hadn’t had enough and chanted “Smino” in demand of an encore. Tireless (and shirtless this time), Smino came back to perform “Klink” and “Bam 2x,” both songs from his latest album.
He might not be able to talk basketball and play music at the same time, but make no mistake, the hyphenate is used to doing a few things at once. Since 2012, Smino’s been showcasing his dynamic skillset – he can sing and rap with elastic ease – and putting on for his city and collaborators, like Noname and Saba. His musicality is limitless, as proven on his most recent offerings, 2017’s blkswn and 2018’s Noir.
The second EP Smino released in 2015 was his best yet, “BlkJuptr,” which was also fully produced by Booker. Featuring the title track, arguably his best song to date, and a thematically and sonically cohesive five tracks, it’s the kind of tape to make anyone a fan.
blkswn, featuring singles ‘ Anita ‘ (remix featuring T-Pain ), ‘ Netflix & Dusse ‘, ‘Wild Irish Roses’ and the namesake single ‘ blkswn ‘, is a testament to this – the distinct concoction of Monte’s soulful, modern production with Smino’s singsong, R&B-inflected rapping.