“A New Genre Called Smino”

On November 8th, upcoming rapper Smino released his latest album, Noir. This unique artist from St. Louis, Missouri gave us a hour of real undeniable vibes. Now based in Chicago, Smino was able to create one of the most dynamic albums of the year.

Through using his one-of-one delivery and connecting with some of the dopest upcoming artist from the Chicago area, he gave us the album that we didn’t know we needed. The main feel of the project comes from songs like “SPINZ”, “HOOPTI”, and “VERIZON”. On songs like this, this rapper tapped into his R&B bag and created a new sound by blending his raps and pitchy voice. Most of the songs on the album are super melodic and steer away from any traditional rap album we’ve heard all year. Mainly consisting of slow bpms, perfectly placed bass and clever bars, this album catches you in a nod off the energy alone. On other songs like “KLINK”, “TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD”, and “BAM 2x”, Smino focuses on more of a dance sound. Here, it sounds like a whole different artist coming thru the speakers, but this is exactly what makes this album special.

Between the amount of beat switches and his different voices on the album, there’s a lot of life on this album. Using this creative combination as his musical template immediately places him in the same song performance box as artists like Kendrick Lamar, in my mind. This versatility can only take him far as we watch his career unfold. As far as lyrical content on Noir, it’s all about his journey in becoming who he is today and relationship talk. You can tell that Smino has been through some trenches in his life. But like one of my favorite rappers once said, “the worst struggle makes for the best content”. That shows here.

Overall, this is a dope project to end the year with, and enter 2019 with. I’m looking forward to hear his work in the future. I’d like to see him make future music with Noname, Chance the Rapper, H.E.R., Bryson Tiller, Joyner Lucas and/or SZA. My favorite tracks on the album are SPINZ, SUMMER SALT, WE GOT THE BISCUITS, HOOPTI, FENTY SEX & VERIZON.