Smino is a rapper who should be on your radar.
Intricate wordplay, a unique sound and the swagger to match, the Missouri rapper put his name on the map with the release of an incredible album ‘blkswn’ this week. With this latest release, Smino has pushed on from his 2016 EP ‘Blkjptr’ and will hopefully expand his fan base worldwide. Popular in the SoundCloud underworld for his bouncy sounds alongside long term collaborator Monte Booker who also produced on the album, Smino is now starting to get the mainstream recognition he deserves.
Smino expressed his gratitude on Twitter following the release of the album, highlighting the presence of female artists on the album which made for a very smooth touch: ‘shout out all da beautiful ladies who helped me w/ my album.’ Artists such as Noname, Ravyn Lenae, Via Rosa, Jean Deaux and Akenya all feature.
Smino makes a big deal of putting on his city. He expressed how he would like more artists to tour in St Louis and how the city needs to have more recognition for its creative youth. With his futuristic sound, Smino also stands for a lot more outside of his music. An advocate of black creative expression, he hopes to open the door for more young black talent through the release of this album. In an interview with Vibe, Smino said the themes on the album represent his favourite things as well as odes to modern love. Like the previously released ’Anita,’ Smino takes on plights that African-Americans young and old have faced with a blend of funk and futuristic beats. He also cleverly yet subtly reps his hometown on the project through its release date, 3/14—the area code for St. Louis.
Favourites on the album include ‘Wild Irish Roses,’ ‘Silk Pillows’ and ‘Amphetamine.’
Listen to ‘Blkswn’ below: