Last week, two of my favorite up and coming artists in Smino and J.I.D both released their debut projects. St.Louis artist Smino first caught my attention when I saw him open up for the Mick Jenkins concert in Denver and has now finally released his debut project “Blkswn” on March 15th, 2017. The high energy singer combines his extremely unique voice over top of some amazing production and showcases some of the most creative flows that I have ever heard. “Anita” and “Blkswn” both served as enticing singles for the project and only helped build my hype for the final project.
We just want my people thriving, yeah
Kill the cops and starve the culture vultures
I’m learning to teach my kids about agriculture
F.D.A approving murder burgers
The bullets ain’t the only thing that hurt us
-Smino on “Father Son Holy Smoke”
The project has a wide array of features from Ravyn Lenae, Bari, theMIND, Jay2, Via Rosa, Akenya and Drea Smith and even showcases another stellar guest appearance by Noname. The production on the album is vivid and seems to mesh perfectly with the unique melodies that Smino is able to create. It’s clear that there’s a lot of great chemistry between Smino and frequent collaborator and fellow Zero Fatigue member Monte Booker. The album also features production by THEMpeople & Sango.
Diving into the album as a whole, you instantly recognize that Smino is a very intriguing talent and is making a sound that no one else can mimic. The album is a dive into the abstract art that Smino has created. Whether it’s rapping over a maraca influenced baseline, or finding Spanish influences on “Netflix & Dusse”. He has mastered the art of using his voice as an instrument and the layers in both the production and his signing is amazing.
Stand out songs for me include tracks like the ultra cool and groovy cut, “Amphetamine” and the infectiously catchy chorus on “Anita.” When someone asks me what I think of when I hear the name Smino, the words that come to mind first are fresh, creativity, and unique. This project is captivating from start to finish and excellent introduction to a rising talent. The subject matter is interesting and engaging which only helps in complementing the beautiful and raw sounds on the album.With this only being his debut album, I’m excited to see what amazing sounds Smino is able to create over the next few years. If you haven’t heard it yet, definitely check out the track “Anita” below, and don’t miss out on Smino’s North American Tour which starts on April 26, 2017. Tickets for the Denver show can be purchased here.