He doesn’t repeat any tricks; NOIR is an entirely new playbook but written with the consideration of what his audience knows him for: melodic and warm songs riddled with sharp-witted lyricism.
smino hair – How St. Louis Rapper Smino Found His Path In Chicago
Christopher Smith Jr — or as most know him — Smino, is bringing his current The Hoopti Tour” to Denver next week. I have to assume this is a play on To Kill a Mockingbird. Another great vocal buildup that grabs. The energy is great. The bounce is sending me through the roof. I’m assuming Sango did this beat. I can’t tell the sonic origins but it reminds me of Da Rocinha III, the Brazil-inspired project he dropped a few years ago. Sonically, Smino is expanding his palette while applying all the tricks that make his songs stand out. He’s singing with all the St. Louis in his heart. This is a good vocal showcase. The drums knocking harder than kids banging out the Grindin’ ” beat in their lunchrooms. The woman’s voice is back.
This may seem like wiredrawing, but it’s not in the context of an album that primarily centers on dealing with drug addiction. Jimmy Lee pulls its greatest strengths from subconscious connections because to be an addict is to be a magician, an assassin, and a poet all at once. To say that to be an addict is to be a liar is to absolve and ignore that we are all liars, both to ourselves and to others. To put addiction in terms of the upfront costs that an addict thinks about (the price of acquiring the vice) ignores the collateral taxes of the masks and perfumes used to cover our tracks, and—ultimately—the tolls of severed relationships, broken families, missed opportunities, hurt people left behind.
Chicago-based MC Smino did a lot of singing on his 2017 debut album, Blkswn, but on his imminent sophomore album, Noir, he seems much more interested in reminding his fans that he can rap. Keeping with tradition, Smino has used this album of smooth beats and swift bars to uplift other artists in his circle. It includes features from Dreezy, Valee, Ravyn Lenae, Bari, and Jay2—the last three are all members of the Zero Fatigue collective Smino cofounded, which is based in Chicago and his old hometown of Saint Louis.
Other luminaries are lurking in the album credits. Dev Hynes of Blood Orange sings the chorus of Shine,” his airy voice a natural counterpoint to Danny’s yelp. Aggro rising star JPEGMAFIA pops up twice, providing the loping beat for 3 Tearz” and a breathy, Pharrell-esque hook on Negro Spiritual.” Flying Lotus and Thundercat supply the frantic beat for the latter track, which feels like riding in a car swerving across every lane.
While it should not be considered a bastion of radical sex and gender politics, blkswn gives us a refreshing look at women being uplifted not just as the muse, but as real and valuable artistic contributors. While Smino is still a relatively new rapper in the mainstream, all of the women featured on his debut album are rising stars as well. Smino shares actual space on blkswn with women from his community, not just a retweet of their SoundCloud links on his Twitter account, but space on his album as collaborators. A community that is not inclusive of the talent of women is not a community. blkswn is a gentle and humble reminder of that.
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.
From the very first opening song of the night to Smino’s encore, the show had a crazy amount of energy because of everyone’s ability to work the crowd and arrange their sets in an exciting, engaging, and musical way. Earthgang and Phoelix gained a new listener and Smino gained even more respect from me as a performer. One of the best shows I’ve been to.
I’m so many songs into my next shit, but I’m trying to give myself more room to experiment because I can do so much with my voice and so much with my words. I’m probably finna make the album of the decade. When 2020 hits, for 10 years, they’re going to play whatever I put out next. On some Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Nelly shit.
It depends on where I’m at. It’s always some love somewhere. But I don’t really do that. Even when I’m outside, I’m coolin’. I’m in a hoodie and shit. I’m smooth. It’s so weird not knowing somebody and you don’t know that they know you. That’s the weirdest feeling ever, still to this day. I be trying to not assume people know me. I see that starting to happen with some people, people just assume people know them.
Yet throughout its runtime, blkswn never seems to concentrate on a central idea or thesis; whether this is a fault or not is up to the listener. Some might prefer an album with a concentrated message, but to me, blkswn never feels like it needs one. blkswn should be seen as a profile of its creator and his many facets. After two EPs and multiple singles on SoundCloud , blkswn is Smino’s introduction to the wider world.
Smino is undeniably dope. The St. Louis native comes from a musical family, with his father being a keyboardist and his mother a singer and a grandfather that played with the blues legend Muddy Waters. Yet, following high school, Smino felt like he had to leave his family and his hometown to pursue a career in music in Chicago.
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.
After anticipating trends like pills, EDM beats, and mall goth chic, Danny Brown has sidestepped them entirely on uknowhatimsayin¿. He’s re-focused on spitting memorable verses over hard beats, and as a result, created one of 2019’s best rap albums. It’s replayable with its 33-minute runtime, and the psychedelic beats ensure there’s something new to notice with each spin. Like the best stand-up specials, the album is meant to be passed among friends, choice passages memorized and referenced ad nauseam. As long as there are fans guffawing as their heads knock, rest assured, Danny Brown’s legacy is secured.
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.
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.
He did plenty of both at the Fillmore, performing to a sold-out crowd while backed by a full band. On a set adorned with a hot-pink hoopty, faded yellow tires, chrome hubcaps and a prop soda machine, Smino felt like the ringleader in a circus of his own creation. For their part, the audience was raucous and ready, rocking and singing and screaming along. Whether he delivered frantic reggae (Tequila Mockingbird”), neo-neo-soul (Anita”), a halftime ode to blunts and cheap wine (Wild Irish Roses”), or a double-time cleanse (Khlorine”), Smino had something for every moment.
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.
When all these cool black girls kept following me and they were like, ‘Oh my god. I love this song.’ It literally was a bunch of girls that let me know it was hot. blkswn teased it, but NOIR confirms it: Smino is building brick by brick a musical world that is uniquely his own.
There’s a cure for cancer, but they’re giving us cancer at the same time and they’re not trying to give us the cure to that shit. ‘We’re going to charge to get treatment’ but they also charge you to get cancer, all of these expensive ass groceries at a higher rate. They are doing all this cancerous shit to it so they can charge more, have money, and clone it. If they can clone vegetable they can definitely clone people.
It’s church. It’s a rap show. It’s a rock concert. It’s like the first day of school. You’re going to see everybody looking fly. You might find you a boo. A lot of girls. I think I credit that to SZA. I did this tour with SZA. A lot of girls got to see me perform on that tour There are so many pretty black girls at my show.
People always be like, What type of music do you make?” I really be like, I don’t know. Whatever the fuck I feel like making.” I’ll make something, something with the Irish bagpipes. Anything. I ain’t got no genre, but I feel like I be rapping. My words, I’m silly as shit. You go break down my lyrics, I play too much. I evolve my writing process in a lot of different ways and even with the wordplay, I’m more selective when I use it versus just straight talking. That just added so much more to my shit. N-as been growing, man.
Towards the end of October 2018, Smino announced a new single titled L.M.F.” The track, produced by Sango, served as the highly anticipated declaration of new music for the rising star. A few days later, on November 8, 2018, the rest of the album NØIR was released to high critical acclaim. The album includes guest appearances from Zero Fatigue members, Bari, Jay2, and Ravyn Lenae , as well as Dreezy , and Valee and features more production from Smino than seen before. The announcement for The Hoopti Tour” came next, along with the promise of supporting acts EarthGang and Phoelix.
Back in 2012, Smino announced his solo ambitions with the Smeezy Dot Com mixtape. While readying his next series of mixtape and EP projects, Smino became a key member in Zero Fatigue, a Chicago-based clique of artists that also includes his long time production spar, Monte Booker. A guest turn on Noname’s Telefone album, on the track Shadow Man,” helped build up Smino’s profile, before he dropped his debut album, Blkswn, in 2017, and snagged supporting slots on tours by SZA and T-Pain. Now Noir is being suggested as Smino’s gateway into the mainstream.
Smino’s Zero Fatigue crew has been making moves around town. Producer Monte Booker, rapper Jay2Ain’tShit, and Smino himself are all linked by an impressive work ethic, loyalty, and hive mentality that reinforces their name. The goal is unified and requires absolute focus.
Since about 15 years old in my high school. I bought a band, a drummer, and I was performing with my homie Bari who is on the ‘Z4L’ song. That’s the first time I had people like, ‘Damn, this nigga be rapping.’ I performed this song I made called ‘Feel Me.’ It’s an old ass song I made back in eighth grade. I was recording back then, too.
Smino is a rapper, singer, songwriter and producer from St. Louis, Missouri and the founder of the musical collective Zero Fatigue with Bari, Monte Booker, Jay2, and Ravyn Lenae. Smino initially gained local recognition in 2012 when he released a mixtape called Smeezy Dot Com, and a collaboration mixtape with Bari called Retail. In 2015, he released two EPs: S!Ck S!Ck S!Ck and blkjuptr.
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. 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.
He’s dope. He’s a soulful dude. The music that I have heard has been really soulful and I’ve been like, ‘Oh shit!’. This how that shit was going. You’d do some shit, boom, come back and it’s four niggas on the song. They kind of be taking people off shit. They told me I’m on a few songs They hit me up.
Smino is an artist of substance. After a year and a half on the road in support of his groundbreaking and critically acclaimed debut album, blkswn , the multihyphenate artist, is ready to embark on something new.
SMINO: I think it would always be there for us because we understand it but it’s not about to become a thing. A lot of people try to make funk music and the funk sound, but I don’t’ think it’s a thing. But even in trap music, when Future be singing “March Madness,” that shit sound like gospel songs if you slow it down a little bit. We always have that in us. Chance just made it blatant as hell like putting Kirk Franklin on a song. Gospel and soul has never died out in us.
I’ll probably never meet him. On some real shit though, is cloning every one that send their spit in to them. They got a room full of spit and they’re creating new people, its fucked up. I fell like if you cloned me as I am right now it would be a dope dude, hitting licks and doing lean. Like my opposite. ‘Yeah he hits licks and do lean though, but its still Smino,’ in essence. Jeremih got a clone.
In late 2016, Smino released a single, blwkswn,” the first taste of his debut album of the same name. The rest of the project dropped in March of the following year and Smino’s career was off to the races. The release features the likes of fellow rapper Noname and led to Smino serving as the opener on SZA’s CTRL Tour” and T-Pain’s Acoustic Tour.” What followed was a series of collaborations with the likes of Mick Jenkins and Cam ‘Bi, as well as producing a few tracks on his own.
Christopher Smith Jr (born October 2, 1991), better known by his stage name, Smino, is an American rapper from St. Louis, Missouri. In 2015, he released two EPs: S!Ck S!Ck S!Ck and blkjuptr. His debut album, blkswn was released on March 14, 2017.
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.
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.
In music, people aren’t only looking for street rappers anymore. Now they wanna hear everything. People want to hear a version of rap that relates to them that might not be from the street. Migos are some of my favorite artists because they do everything with their voices. It’s only so much you can do when you sing words so you gotta take your voice and use that bitch like it’s a trumpet. Mainly, I think artists just want to keep having fun.
Music runs through his veins; it’s genetically embedded. Raised in a family of musicians, the rapper and singer began playing drums in his native St. Louis at an early age. As an adult, he moved to Chicago and connected with Classick Studios to release his first two EPs, S!ck S!ck S!ck and blkjuptr. In 2017, he dropped blkswn , which Rolling Stone hailed as one of the 40 best rap albums of the year.
The sequence was perfectly seamless. R&B-esque Smi. Who did this beat!? This is magic personified. It feels like taking your lover to Merlin’s castle for a nightcap. The chords are truly mood-setting. Timbaland and Missy Elliott would appreciate the hell out of this one. Oh, this is a song! I love the flow, the energy, the way this beat is moving with the fluidity of flubber. It’s beautifully strange; an alien. A skit. A hilarious one. He’s shuffling through T.V. channels. Smi is doing a skit. It’s taking me back to OutKast and how good their skits were.
Despite my wealth of applause for the smoother jams, NOIR” also includes some terrific upbeat bangers like KRUSHED ICE,” which Smino created with up-and-coming rapper Valee (who signed with Kanye West‘s GOOD music label earlier this year). The track breaks from the mellowness of the others with its piercing bass and pompous claims. Valee prowls through the beat with his whispering style, and, honestly, it sounds dope. Overall, KRUSHED ICE” is an emphatic trunk-shaker that livens up the track list.