St. Louis rapper and Zero Fatigue leader Smino has released his sophomore album NOIR. It follows his 2017 release blkswn which introduced Smino to the world as an ultra-smooth rap artisan who can pivot to a new flow on a dime. Known for his soulful singing and his southern wordplay Smino has a cool, nonchalance about him that reminds you of OutKast. blkswn was a hell of a debut, one that lesser artists wouldn’t be able to surmount on their sophomore attempt, but Smino has taken the blueprints he laid out on it and continued to build with NOIR.
In an era when the norm has become 7-10 songs on a project, NOIR is truly a full length album. Clocking in with over an hour worth of music you can tell that he is confident that he can keep listeners attention and he does so by constantly switching his delivery and the type of beat he’s on while still keeping the album a cohesive piece. With features from Bari, Jay2, Dreezy, Valee and Ravyn Lenae and production from Monte Booker, Phoelix the album flows perfectly from one track to the next.
On tracks like “BAM 2X” and “FENTY SEX” we get classic Smi, bouncing melodically on top of a strangely familiar-but-futuristic beats. “KLINK” has such intense energy that you literally don’t know what to do with yourself but it feels good. “KRUSHED ICE (with Valee)” is the only sonic departure on the album, but it works because he switches to a Valee flow and the minimal production is actually really hot.
Overall the album shows that Smino is no one trick pony so get used to seeing him everywhere for a long time.
Check out NOIR here.