After an amazing set for Lollapalooza, a leaked Chance the Rapper song with Big Sean, and getting brought up to the studio for an interview with Peter Rosenberg, Smino is gaining some much needed attention. He is a driven and forward-thinking rap artist hailing from St. Louis and he's here to stay. His infectious blend of sound blurs the lines between soul, blues and R&B, while highlighting his wit and personality. As an artist, Smino has always been one to challenge all expectations. In particular, it is clear that he sees rap in a unique, open-format way, allowing his creativity to travel at full speed and seize the full potential of the genre. One of the most exciting things about the sound of hip-hop is how this music is a true catalyst, a huge canvas that talented artists can use to their advantage, painting intricate sonic pictures with an endless palette. Rap music can feature elements of rock, funk, soul, electronica and even experimental music; it's really all up to the artist's vision and imagination. Smino is definitely one of those rare performers who refuses to let his genre be a set of shackles. Instead, he is always open to pushing his sound to the next level and raising the bar higher with hot new collaborations and amazing new ideas, making each song a true step forward towards incredible music making.
What makes Smino’s sound truly special is the way his quick, intelligent and engaging lyrics transcend the rap format and touch the beauty of melodic R&B singing that add an extra layer of compositional skills and melodies to everything he touches. It’s not just about energy, but also memorable hooks and chorus that won’t get out of your head so easily.
An example? One of his most recent releases, Lemon Pon Goose" features a really unique and quirky approach to lyrical flow and composition, green-lighting creativity in a truly amazing way.
Smino is also keen on collaborating with fellow talented artists with a truly unique vision. For example, he has recently been featured on Noname's new album with Saba, where he gets to perform his favorite verse and contribute to the track with his striking personality and talent. He also appeared on "Living Single", a hot track by charismatic hip-hop favorite "Chance The Rapper", alongside performers such as Big Sean and Jeremiah. The song recently leaked, so if you are crafty enough, you can find it online!
His recent single, Kajun, channels the sensual soulfulness of artists such as D'Angelo or The Weekend, while echoing the super-charged energy of visionary rap artists the likes of Kendrick Lamar or Chance The Rapper, among others. Produced by Monte Booker, the tracks featured beautifully layered vocal harmonies adding a textural atmosphere in the background, while tight and blissfully sloppy drum beats interact with bluesy riffs. Smino also joined forces with fellow artists Jean Deaux and Phoelix, who bring depth and character to the song with their contribution.
Clocking in at slightly over the 3-minutes mark, "Kajun" is a masterfully arranged track where the smart lyrical flow plays well with the intricate instrumental patterns. The chemistry is absolutely undeniable, as all the pieces that make up this song fit well like a record-breaking game of Tetris.
Smino is certainly a promising artist who is confirming his skill and talent through and through, not only with his incredible original songs, but also with the consistently amazing collaborations he releases and with the critical acclaims his work receives.