If you're a fan of rap, look no further for your next obsession. Smino has been on my playlists since 2016, and since I think we all hold summer '16 close to our hearts, that maybe one of the reasons I love him so much. Repping the Midwest, Smino comes to us all the way from St. Louis, Missouri. He's one of the rappers that you can tell it's him by hearing one bar, his voice is that recognizable, which is one of my favorite qualities to look for in a rapper. With everything from slow jams to straight bars, Smino can and will do it all.
Born as Christopher Smith Jr., our guy is a solid 28-year-old Libra. This may be another reason why I have such an affinity for him, as I tend to be drawn to Libra men. He is 1/3rd of the absolutely iconic and underrated Ghetto Sage. The supergroup consisting of himself, Saba, and Noname. A man of even numbers, he's got two mixtapes and two albums, along with several collaboration productions as well. The most recent of these being the mixtape "She Already Decided", released on 4/20/20 this year on SoundCloud. He makes not only music, though, also having a line of silk pillow hoodies (named after one of his songs) that are notorious for selling out (much to my despair). As far as record labels go, he is a co-founder and artist in Zero Fatigue along with the likes of Jay2, Bari, and Monte Booker. A well-rounded rapper, Smino has proved himself a GOAT in many fields.
When it comes to my favorite songs and projects, blkswn takes the cake hands down. I have fond memories of one of my good friends showing me this album and introducing me to his magic with the trio of "Spitshine", "Netflix & Dusse", and "Anita". These songs played back to back as they are on the album create the ultimate upbeat, happy vibe that is sure to please any car with good taste. If you're looking for a chiller vibe, on the same album, the opener and closer "Wild Irish Roses" and "Amphetamine" take the cake for solid features and smooth vibes great for nighttime. In his most recent album, Noir, I would recommend Z4L as well. An upbeat rap beat with captivating harmonies. A must-listen for any rap fan.
My only hope of this article is to shed light on another great, underrated artist in the rap game who puts out consistent projects of his own and shines on features as well. Being from the Midwest myself, it would be sacrilegious not to give a well-deserved shout out to those from the middle of the country, especially one with this much talent. He's from Jupiter baby, get with an alien.