Smino • blkswn (Album) [@SminoBrown]
"Maraca maraca we make some shit, Sinatra Sinatra we all want Frank"
Smino is an up and coming rapper from St. Louis who got a rather large fan base when he dropped blkjptr in 2015, a personal favorite EP of mine. With the masterful flows, lyrics, and hazy production, I couldn't believe this is only his FIRST album!!! It was sooo relieving to see an artist whose prior projects, I really enjoyed, make a new project that surpassed it. I went in cautious after being disappointed in CULTURE by Migos, mainly because their mixtapes, No Label II and YRN 2 were just so much better, in my opinion. With Smino I am honestly blown away with how wonderful this album is. I haven't enjoyed a new album this much since Sagewav , Watching Icarus Fly or Layers, so that's saying something. Before I dissect the album and my favorite tracks I'll drop the embedded Spotify link so you can listen to it as well.
Check This Album Out!
So lets go song by song for this "quick" review. Wild Irish Roses is the intro and it quickly sets the vibe for the whole album or at least you think. It starts off very melodic and sorta sounds like an old Nelly song in my opinion. There is instantly also a theme about weed and girls but it is presented so beautifully. The chorus is talking about him and a girl getting some backwoods and having sex, but it's not your normal, call a girl a hoe and smoke everyday anthem, it has substance. Next is Maraca, one of my favorites personally. He switches up his flow to be faster but still stops to do a sing-song verse here and there, which is a nice change in it. He also has some very clever bars in this one such as "Running to the cheese/definition of a rat race". This one has a crazy good flow to it and the beat syncs with his vocals so perfectly! Then there is Glass Flows with a guest appearance from the wonderful musician Ravyn Lenae. This one is a back and forth between a guy and a girl that seem to be in a toxic relationship yet they still love one another but also hate each other. The chorus shows this when it says "I think I made you too special to me". The way the each say a few bars then goes to the other. It starts with them saying negative things about each other in an articulated way. They also switch up the flow half-ways through the song then change back in time for the hook. After that is Flea Flicka, my least favorite song I'd have to say but it's still amazing. It features Bari and this song is much more energetic and hype but still can pack some interesting metaphors and wordplay. But moving on, next is Spitshine. This track is rather mesmerizing with the beat and the vocals just flowing like water from a faucet. It talks about drinking, having fun, girls and yet it still has lyrical content. This seems to be a great thing about Smino. Then there is Netflix and Dusse another song I didn't enjoy as much as the others. Mainly due to the high amount of auto-tune and other vocal enhancers. But when it comes to the bars on this song they are still great, but it's all about sex, so more of a club song. Then comes Anita! My favorite song on this whole project except for B Role. Another song that talks about the standard Smino subjects but there is so many great verses and the hook is wonderful showing he wants this girl who makes him clean. He also changes up his flow in this which makes this even more enjoyable. Following this song is Lobby Kall, with the title it is pretty clear what this song is about. Yep more sex, kind of disappointing. Next is Edgar Allen Poe'd Up featuring TheMIND. This song starts off sounding different then most other songs on this project. This like a lot of his songs is about drugs and sex. TheMIND's voice sounds crazy cool in this verse and it is a good verse but somewhat standard. After this is my favorite track B Role. Smino's flow in this is hard hitting, vicious, and yet is super calm sounding. He talks about being real, girls, bringing his gang with him and his disdain for Kanye supporting Trump. But the way his flow is so unique in the second half of the song is so BRILLIANT, it is the Smino I prefer. Next up a few tracks like Long Run, blkswn, Innamission, Blkoscars, Silk Pillows, and Ricky Millions, all of which are amazing tracks but in my opinion don't stand out that much when it comes to substance. Then to round off the review there is Father Son Holy Smoke, and Amphetamine both of which are wonderful songs that are both beautifully executed and changes the pace and switches up some of the subjects.