Smino

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Smino
Smith performing in October 2016
Smith performing in October 2016
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Smith Jr.
Also known asC. Smi
Born (1991-10-02) October 2, 1991 (age 28)
St. Louis, Missouri
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
InstrumentsVocals, drums
Years active2009–present
Labels
Associated acts

Christopher Smith Jr. (born October 2, 1991), better known by his stage name Smino, is an American rapper and singer from St. Louis, Missouri. Smino is the founder of the musical collective Zero Fatigue with Bari, Monte Booker, Jay2, and Ravyn Lenae.[2] He is a member of the hip-hop supergroup Zoink Gang, with JID, Buddy and Guapdad 4000.[3] He is also one third of the supergroup Ghetto Sage, with Saba and Noname.[4] Smino is signed to Downtown Records and Interscope.

Smino initially gained local recognition in 2012 where he released a mixtape called Smeezy Dot Com, and a collaboration mixtape with Bari called Retail. In 2015, he released two EPs: S!Ck S!Ck S!Ck and blkjuptr.[5] His debut studio album, blkswn was released to critical acclaim on March 14, 2017.[6] His second studio album, NØIR, was released on November 8, 2018.[7]

Early life[edit]

Chris Smith Jr. was born in St. Louis, Missouri into a musical family: his father plays keys, his mother sings, and his grandfather played bass guitar for Blues Hall of Fame musician Muddy Waters. Both his father and grandfather were given opportunities to take their music far, but they gave up their success to be with their families. When he was seven, his father gave him a set of drums, which he played in his church's band, and also began rapping. He later moved to Chicago, Illinois for college under the wing of his older cousin, singer Drea Smith.[8][9]

Musical career[edit]

2009–2015: Career beginnings and various projects[edit]

Between 2009 and 2013, Smino went by the stage name C. Smi, and was in a rap duo with his friend Bari Allen called "Young Dumb and Outta Control" (YDOC), where they released three mixtapes including Retail. As they started to gain popularity locally, Smino released his first solo mixtape, Smeezy Dot Com in 2012 and moved back to Chicago.[8] At Columbia College Chicago, he met engineer Chris "Classick" Inumerable, who became his manager.[10][11]

On October 2, 2015 Smino released his first EP, S!Ck S!Ck S!Ck.[12][13] On December 11, 2015, he released his second EP titled Blkjuptr.[14]

2016–2017: blkswn[edit]

Smino at Lollapalooza in 2016

On July 31, 2016, Smino appeared on Noname's mixtape, Telefone, with Saba and Phoelix on the track "Shadow Man".[15] In the fall of 2016, Smino was alongside Mick Jenkins on the A Quest For Love Tour. On October 27, he made another guest appearance on Bucket List Project on the song "World in My Hands".[16]

On December 2, 2016, Smino released the title track to serve as the first single from his debut album, blkswn, which was released on March 14, 2017. The release date holds a special significance to the St. Louis rapper because 314 is the area code of his hometown. The album includes guest appearances from Ravyn Lenae, Bari, Noname, theMIND, Jay2, Via Rosa, Drea Smith, and Akenya, with production coming from Monte Booker, THEMpeople, Sango, Phoelix, and J. Bird.[17]

Following the album's release, he headlined in his month-long Swanita Tour, which included 22 dates with guests Monte Booker, Jay2, Bari, and Jean Deaux.[18] On July 6, it was announced that Smino and Ravyn Lenae will be opening for SZA on The CTRL Tour.[19] He later released music videos for "Anita", "Netflix & Dusse", and "Wild Irish Roses". During October, he was opening act for T-Pain on his Acoustic Tour, who appeared on the remix for "Anita".[20][21]

2018–2019: NØIR[edit]

In April 2018, he and Monte Booker co-headlined the Kouple Drillz Tour which included shows in Asia and Australia.[22] On May 17, he released a single called "New Coupe, Who Dis?" featuring Mick Jenkins.[23] He also appeared on some of his frequent collaborative producers tracks, Cam O'Bi on "TenderHeaded", Phoelix on "Taranphoeno", and Sango on "Khlorine".[24] On July 9, he released a remix to Drake's "In My Feelings", and a track called "Coupe Se' Yern" produced by himself.[25]

On October 26, 2018, Smino released a single titled "L.M.F." produced by Sango, accompanied by a music video.[26] Smino released the album's second single titled "Klink" on November 4, announcing it via an Instagram post.[27] His second album, NØIR, was released on November 8.[28] The album includes guest appearances from Zero Fatigue members, Bari, Jay2, and Ravyn Lenae, as well as Dreezy, and Valee. The production came from himself, Monte Booker, THEMpeople, Sango, Phoelix, KRS, Al B Smoov, and Da-P.[29] In 2019, Smino announced the Hoopti Tour, which included 33 shows in England, the United States, and Canada.[30] Supporting acts for the tour will be EarthGang and Phoelix.[31] On April 3, 2019, Smino released the music video for "Z4L", directed by Ev Solomon and produced by AJR Films, with clips of backstage footage on tour.[32]

On October 17, 2019, he announced the supergroup Ghetto Sage with Saba and Noname, releasing a single titled "Häagen Dazs".[33] On October 25, he released the single "Trina", produced by Kenny Beats and Lido.[34] On December 23, he released a two-song EP titled High 4 Da Highladays.

2020–present: She Already Decided[edit]

In February 2020, Smino announced the completion of his third studio album. On March 14, he released the song "Tempo" produced by VZN.[35] On April 20, 2020, Smino released the mixtape She Already Decided, which includes guest appearances from Sevyn Streeter, T-Pain, Bari, and Rizz Capolatti. Production on the mixtape came from Groove, Kal Banx, VZN, and Phoelix among others.[36]

Artistry[edit]

Influence[edit]

Smino describes his sound as futuristic funk and soulful rap. He grew up listening to a lot of jazz, gospel, and hip hop, with rappers including Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Nelly, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Field Mob. Smino names Kanye West, André 3000 and Lil Wayne as his biggest musical influences, as well as his cousin, Drea Smith.[37] In an interview with Pitchfork he stated, "I grew up in the church, so it was a bunch of gospel along with Musiq Soulchild, Em, T-Pain—just a bunch of soulful dudes that are country. My first favorite rapper was Ludacris."[12]

Musical style[edit]

Scott Glaysher of Exclaim! described his music is a "mix of smart rapping and crowd-pleasing, futuristic R&B grooves."[38] Jay Balfour from Pitchfork said he focuses "on his incredibly versatile voice within a warm palette of sludgy R&B and neo-funk" and "throws a million different voices into the mix."[39] Rolling Stone said "his rap makes room for southern R&B and imperfect harmony singing; the drums are inevitably cooled out, like nth-wave neo soul."[40]

Other ventures[edit]

Zero Fatigue[edit]

Smino is a founder and part of a musical collective and record label called Zero Fatigue with Monte Booker, Jay2, Bari, Ravyn Lenae, Elton "L10MixedIt" Chueng, Chris "Classick" Innumerable, and Nosidam. The collective's origins began when Smino met Classick at Columbia College Chicago, who owned a recording studio in his house in Chicago and later became his manager. Interning for Classick, engineer and mixer L10MixedIt Chueng met Smino in that studio where they began working together.[41] Unofficial members and affiliates of the collective include Jean Deaux, Drea Smith, and Phoelix.[42]

Kribmas[edit]

Kribmas is an annual Christmas concert and fundraising event hosted by Smino in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, which began in 2016. Ymani Wince wrote about the event saying, "Kribmas is more than just Smino's homecoming weekend; the rapper's team employs local photographers, videographers, stylists, businesses and artists to put each element of the show together."[43]

Fashion[edit]

On April 5, 2018, Smino unveiled his design of satin-lined hoodies called "Silk Pillows", named after his song of the same name. After it went viral on the internet, he explained the design addresses the problem of waking up with messy or damaged hair.[44][45][46]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with album details and selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[47]
blkswn
NØIR
  • Released: November 8, 2018
  • Label: Zero Fatigue, Downtown, Interscope
  • Format: CD, digital download, vinyl
191

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
S!Ck S!Ck S!Ck
  • Released: October 2, 2015
  • Label: Zero Fatigue
  • Format: Digital download
blkjuptr
  • Released: December 11, 2015
  • Label: Zero Fatigue
  • Format: Digital download
4sport
  • Released: July 9, 2018[48]
  • Format: Digital download
High 4 Da Highladays
  • Released: December 23, 2019[49]
  • Label: Zero Fatigue, Downtown, Interscope
  • Format: Digital download

Mixtapes[edit]

Title Album details
Smeezy Dot Com
  • Released: April 25, 2012
  • Format: Digital download
She Already Decided
  • Released: April 20, 2020
  • Format: Digital download

Collaborations[edit]

Title Album details
1000 Miles & Jumpin
(with Bari Allen)
  • Released: November 4, 2009
  • Format: Digital download
Pardon the Interruption
(with Bari Allen)
  • Released: January 5, 2010
  • Format: Digital download
Retail
(with Bari Allen)
  • Released: June 15, 2013
  • Format: Digital download

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"blkjuptr"[50] 2016 blkjuptr
"Oxygen"[50]
"blkswn"[51] blkswn
"Anita"[51] 2017
"Anita (Remix)"[52]
(featuring T-Pain)
Non-album single
"Netflix & Dusse"[51] blkswn
"Wild Irish Roses"[51] 2018
"L.M.F."[26] NØIR
"Klink"[27]
"Z4L"
(featuring Bari & Jay2)
2019
"Reverend"[53] TBA
"Trina"
"Tempo"[54] 2020

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as a featured artist, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Kolors"[55]
(Monte Booker featuring Smino)
2016 Soulection White Label - Monte Booker
"World in My Hands"[56]
(Saba featuring Smino & LEGIT)
Bucket List Project
"TenderHeaded"[24]
(Cam O'bi featuring Smino)
2018 Grown Ass Kid
"TROOP"[57]
(tobi lou featuring Smino)
non-album single
"Khlorine"[58]
(Sango featuring Smino)
In The Comfort Of
"Bad Boys"[59]
(Pivot Gang featuring Saba, Joseph Chilliams, MfnMelo & Smino)
2019 You Can't Sit With Us
"Homegirl"[60]
(Leven Kali featuring Smino & Topaz Jones)
HIGHTIDE

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Touch The Ceiling" 2012 Bari Allen YDOC
"Money Man"[61] 2015 NAPALM Life as a Bachelor
"Money Like a Pastor"[62] Gdot Markee, Corban Josiah Chicken Money
"Don’t Kall My Name"[63] Jean Deaux non-album single
"XYZ"[64] 2016 Jean Deaux non-album single
"Shadow Man"[65] Noname, Saba, Phoelix Telefone
"No Cape"[66] Sean Deaux Vice City 2
"Kompany"[67] 2017 Monte Booker, Phoelix non-album single
"The Run Around"[68] 2018 Ambi Lyrics Study Hall
"Taranphoeno"[69] Phoelix, Jean Deaux TEMPO
"Intrigue"[70] Bari Allen The Prefix
"Ace"[71] Noname, Saba Room 25
"Exhale"[72] Kemba Gilda
"Blood on My Hands"[73] 2019 August 08 Happy Endings with an Asterisk
"1993"[74] Buddy, Cozz, EarthGang, JID, J. Cole Revenge of the Dreamers III
"Sacrifices"[74] EarthGang, J. Cole, Saba
"Dork"[75] Jay2 4 Tha Wait
"Eternal"[76] Chance the Rapper The Big Day
"Anonymous"[77] Cousin Stizz Trying to Find My Next Thrill
"LA Lisa"[78] SiR Chasing Summer
"Rap City"[79] femdot. 94 Camry Music
"Won't Bite"[80] Doja Cat Hot Pink
"Spin Move"[81] 2020 Bas, Saba, The Hics Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director's Cut
"Passcode"[81] Ari Lennox, Buddy, Mez, Guapdad 4000
"I Been (Remix)"[82] Ari Lennox Shea Butter Baby (Remix EP)
"Gimme The Wheel"[83] Alina Baraz It Was Divine

Music videos[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of music videos as lead artist, showing year released and director(s)
Title Year Director(s)
"blkjuptr" 2016 Jacob Chavez[84]
"Anita" 2017 Jean Deaux[85]
"Netflix & Dusse" The Calmatic[86]
"Anita (Remix)"
(featuring T-Pain)
N/A
"Wild Irish Roses" 2018 Jean Deaux[87]
"L.M.F." N/A[88]
"Z4L"
(featuring Bari & Jay2)
2019 Ev Solomon[32]
"Klink" Smino, Nicholas Woytuk[89]
"Trina" Child[90]
"Reverend" 2019 Topshotta[91]
"Cabbage (Freestyle)" N/A
"S.A.D. Lil Intro" N/A

As featured artist[edit]

List of music videos as lead artist, showing year released and director(s)
Title Year Director(s)
"World In My Hands"
(Saba featuring Smino & LEGIT)
2017 Tom Vin
"TROOP"
(tobi lou featuring Smino)
2018 Glassface
"Khlorine"
(Sango featuring Smino)
Glassface
"Sacrifices"
(Dreamville featuring EarthGang, J. Cole, Smino & Saba)
2019 Scott Lazer, David Peters, and Chad Tennies[92]
"Homegirl"
(Leven Kali featuring Smino & Topaz Jones)
2020 Alexandra Gaville[93]

Tours[edit]

Headlining
  • Swanita Tour (2017)
  • Kouple Drillz Tour (with Monte Booker) (2018)
  • Hoopti Tour (2019)
  • Euro Fatigue Tour (2020)
Supporting

References[edit]

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  22. ^ [2][dead link]
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