Smino is an ever evolving mood swing. He’s never content and never settles while producing, which ultimately rules out any song with a similar style. So it’s no surprise that the rapper is already over his latest album NOIR. Despite the Missouri native’s self deprecating reviews, NOIR is a refreshing album that solidifies Smino as one of the most unique voices in hip hop.
Story by Angela Schiff
“I hate my new album right now,” the 27 year old blunted stated in an interview with Rolling Stone. He’s tired of it, ready to move on to the next project, which is already “good chunk of done.”
Smino described his thought process while working on the album as “just have fun with your fucking life,” and NOIR’s sound certainly reflects this. It has Smino’s signature sound — hip hop beats combined with R&B and neo soul influences — but there is a lightheartedness not present in the artist’s 2017 album, blkswn. While blkswn was darker, broodier, NOIR is bright and highlights Smino’s current outlook. Tracks such as “L.M.F” and “We Got the Biscuits” are playful on a lyrical and auditory level, making the album incredibly danceable. But don’t mistake this newfound lightness for lack of depth.. On “SPINZ,” Smino references his rough upbringing, with lines that reflect the hardships.
“It was gruesome, what we grew from/But we grew some in the end,” he sings.
The album serves as a catharsis, proof that Smino has grown up to see better days. It’s the celebration of escaping your past.NOIR is aided by great collaborations, including Ravyn Lenae on “MF Groove” and Dreezy on “Fenty Sex.” In addition, many songs on the album were produced by the incredibly talented Monte Booker, who has worked with Smino from early on in the artist's career. Though Smino is already over NOIR, the album is a testament to his growth as a musician and person. Moreso, NOIR showcases the range of this criminally underrated artist. Give it a listen if want to hear a fun, soulful album that’s perfect for a laid back afternoon.
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