While there have been many version of hip hop since its underground inception back in the ’70s, the more recent sound that blends soul, R&B and a bit of pop, all wrapped up under something still undoubtedly hip hop is one that we’ve been enjoying as of late–think Chance The Rapper and D.R.A.M. Another name to add to your list if you’re also enjoying the melodic waves of the aforementioned movement is Chris Smith Jr, better known as Smino, who originally dropped his debut EP blkjuptr back in 2015. Now will a follow up, the St. Lious-born rapper introduces his first full-length studio album dubbed blkswn, and it’s as amazingly diverse in each track as it is in the sub-genre it represents.
The 18-track project official dropped today, which is a little nod to the rapper’s hometown area code of 314. The album brings on many production talents, with Monte Booker being the predominant, who really elevates Smino’s talents with uplifting beats, loops and a good dose of synth. On top of the wide range in sound, the album also serves as a badge for St. Lious, which the artist feels doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves, citing to FADER that “I hate the fact that when artists tour they don’t have a date in St. Louis.” Enjoy Smino’s blkswn album above to learn a thing or two about the Missouri city, and head here for more from the budding rapper.