In many ways, the music scene of 2018 is a place where artists can express themselves in some of the most unique ways known this century. With the amount of genres that have been blended, chopped and screwed, it can feel like the possibilities are truly endless. However, the ease with which one can easily switch between genres is more nuanced, as it is much easier said than done.
Smino is an artist that tries to not only explore this conundrum, but perfect it. Something about his growing up mixing his fondness for jazz with rapping made his style have a distinct clarity not often seen in cross-genre albums.
On his latest album, NØIR, the St. Louis-born rapper shows that he can continue to blend genres just as easily as it sounds. Throughout the album, it also becomes clear how exactly the artist is able to do it so easily: using his voice. If this album is indicative of anything, it is of Smino’s versatility as a singer and performer. Throughout the running time of the album, he effortlessly switches between different deliveries, flow, and attitudes that make it feel like an album filled with features being performed by only one person.
In a way, this makes listening to NØIR similar to being told a story by an incredibly creative storyteller; the words are there, but the power they bring won’t be revealed on their own. No; in order to be truly captivated by a story, you need to hear it in the right way, and with NØIR Smino tells his own story effortlessly.