Smino “Best Hair In The Game” “Too Grown To Teach You How To Ride” Smith (I didn’t make that last name up, where do you think Smino comes from) has dropped his new album NOIR. I’ve heard far too many people many people say it’s not as good as blk swn but that’s an unfair comparison. blk swn was and is a cover to cover masterpiece which introduced the world at-large to Smino’s avant-garde rap stylings, but NOIR is a deeper dive into the artist’s personality. Not to say it isn’t also a cover to cover masterpiece, but you definitely get to see more of who Smino is through these songs.
I know I’ve likened GoldLink to a saxophone before, but if GoldLink is a tenor sax, Smino raps like an alto sax with a split reed. A lesser artist would have this voice and be completely unbearable, but Smino manages to incorporate style and flavor into his sound (and great taste in samples and instrumentals, because his songs could easily be a cacophonous train wreck). His voice will hit your ear wrong, no matter how many times you listen to him, but that has to be by design, because once you’ve heard his music, you’ll want more.
Smino’s life and music are all about being as Black as possible, which is part of his appeal. That, is his ability to incorporate humor throughout the sexual overtones of his music, which keeps him from being like some other one-dimensional R&B singers that shall not be named. The album is sprinkled with a few features because he obviously can’t leave out his Zero Fatigue mates: Bari, Monte Booker (producer extraordinaire to have to deal with this out-of-pocket artists), Jay2, and Ravyn Lenae.
KLINK is the single single, and has to be my favorite song on the album. I don’t even know how to describe the instrumental; I’m not sure what instrument Monte has leading the beat, I just know it fits Smino’s voice perfectly, has bass in the right places, and falls out at just the right moments. Smino’s voice changes all over the place, but never sounds wrong. And if anything, Smino is a master when it comes to using epistrophe.
His music is perfet for pre-gaming, partying, or just playing in the car.Well, I can’t honestly say there are times when I would’nt listen to Smino.
In my experience, his song “Ciabatta” is maybe the closest to his regular rap/singing voice as we’re going to get.