Have you ever seen the movie Black Swan? A film about psychological, spiritual, and emotional struggles. A artist embracing their darker side to take their art and talents to next level.
I haven’t watched that movie in years but one thing I took from that movie is that the duality between light and darkness is something we all try to master. We all do good and bad shit and we try to justify both in our worlds. It’s what humanity is. You see it and hear it everyday.
The Black Swan that Natalie Portman’s character “Nina” was trying to tap into was artistically flawless. A genius possibly. The con to her trying to release her inner Black Swan is that if she doesn’t use it correctly her spirit/soul could be destroyed. The Black Swan lives outside of consciousness. You sacrifice something for it to be released and be apart of your performance. It’s a metamorphosis.
When you are on your way to becoming the Black Swan you may lose some people. You may take some losses but if you can just focus, let go and have that pure side of your spirit work in harmony with the Black Swan then the most beautiful outcome is waiting for you.
Smino is the testimony. He took some losses. Lost some friends to get to this point but The Blk Swn was waiting. Plotting. Waiting for it’s time to show the world how fucking sauced up it was. Now my nigga ain’t no ballerina. If you looking for ballerinas go listen to S!CK S!CK S!CK track number 2 but just like the transformation scene with Nina finally becoming the Black Swan and putting on the performance of her life. Smino has finally shown us Blk Swn on 314 day and not only has he put on a performance of his life but he has officially kicked off a new era for St.Louis, USA.
It's Swn Szn and it's brought to you by Zero Fatigue aka Zilch Baby aka The Goose Egg Gang.
Grown Ups. In Betweens. Chil’ren and babies. The Auntie Album of All Auntie Albums. We talking Luther Vandross and Johnny Gill Territory......... Smino's BLK SWN.
Let's go over my favorite tracks.
WILD IRISH ROSES
Out the gate I know this shit real. On the intro we get Auntie-esqe production. This sound like some Maxwell Urban Hang Suite in the cutlass supreme shit. This that luh shorty rubbing my shoulders and playing in my hair while I'm watching Hey Arnold on the projector screen music. Yeah this clutch.
Aye on me! You ever seen that Sean Paul "I'm Still In Love With You" video? Dude in the video was just watching that elegant dark sistah winding like her student loans are about to be paid off. Maraca reminds me of that mixed with the Fiesta remix. My bro came in on this muhfucka not playing with niggas. Flow was on point while snappin with the Jeff Hardy ladder match bars.
Maraca makes me wanna buy a hawaiian shirt, a straw hat, talk all shit with a glass of remy, calling all niggas "Youngbloods" like a 70's pimp. I need all shorty's dancing to "Maraca" accordingly like ....
At the listening party when this dropped this was my favorite song it was a toss up between this and another one I'll talk about later. I'm conflicted. Ravyn Lenae has the voice of Jesus and Minnie Ripperton mixed with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. I love her so much.
This track is so fucking dope. Smi and Ravyn sounding like a lit ass Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway with sause included. The back and forth between them like a classic Jadakiss and Styles P collab set this muhfucka off. The pitch switch at the end? NIGGA WHET?!!!!!! FATALITY!!!
They damn near had me bout to call my "ol thang" after hearing this jam.
This song makes me want to play Sonic 3 or Kirby Adventures. I know it's about the obvious but that's how I feel. I can really hear this song on commercials, tv shows, etc. It's real friendly and commercial production wise. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a favorite from this album. It has a crossover feel and appeal.
NETFLIX AND DUSSE
This was the other song I was referring to when I said I was conflicted about what was my favorite. Real shit. Thank god the "Living Single" verse went to this track. Fits way better. Better song overall. God the plug. Hallelujah Anyhow!
For the betterment of humanity. All of St.Louis must come together and start a gofundme or whatever so we can purchase a cold ass cadillac and paint it pink and then demand Smi shoot a video in the Caribbean with the Pepto Bismol Cadillac parked on the beach with him rapping the first verse on top of the Cadi with pink forces like the 2003 Cam'Ron.
I love the hook on this track because it's my life. Simple. Definitely playing this when I go to Jamaica this fall. Definitely Island vibes.
Incredible message from the O.G at the end of this track.
EDGAR ALLEN POE'D UP
Only thing I've ever read of Edgar Allen Poe was "The Raven" that was when I was like 11. Closest thing I've been to a Raven since is when I talked to Ravyn Lenae 2 weeks ago.
I like to think of this song as a drunk anthem. theMIND really sounded and rapped like a drunk nigga. He played a drunk nigga on this track better than Forrest Whitaker in Jason's Lyric. This joint jammin.
Can't lie. This jam make me feel like I'm Ricky Fontaine.
Pretty Ricky What The Call Em.
The melodies and harmonies are exactly what the song title is. Silky.
I put some coconut oil in my hair after listening to this. All natural berries and juices head ass. Glad Smi brought back something for the E&J sippers. I'm tired of you niggas acting like you too good for the E&J now. Knowing damn well y'all Uncles put you on game. Don't ever forget ya roots.
I love, love, love, love Akenya's work on this. She is D'Angelo Brown Sugar smooth on this. Her flow and vocals are hypnotizing. I'm officially a fan. She cold!
This song was stuck in my head ever since the listening party. It's just so fucking beautiful and real man. I'm actually having a hard time describing it right now. I'm not even gone fake it. This song took me back to before I started this blog. I didn't really understand myself and shit was rough. Today I'm hella good and happy. I just had to make it to the next day so I could keep shootin and that's all I pray for every night. I pray for another chance and more ways to help people. Taking my blessings and living life to the fullest. This joint is gonna surprise a lot of people.
Another thing I took from this is that Jean Deaux really need to drop some new shit immediately. Like now. Like RIGHT NOW! Fuck with me God. Please. The world needs that.
I'm just very proud of bro. This is a great album from an even better person. The growth since I've met Smi is just something so inspiring. Y'all don't understand. I watched this kid perform in front of 10 people in Austin. He never complained. He never hated. He never blamed anyone. He just kept working. He supports and helps people whenever he's able to. He helped bring this blog traffic and I never asked him to. He did it out of love. He always showed me love and respect and I'll forever be there for him if he needs me. 100.
The lyricism. The vocals. The passion. The production. The features. It's just a flawless piece of work. It flows together so effortlessly track to track. Go buy Blk Swn and hear what St.Louis has to say. The new era is here and we're just getting started.
St.Louis, USA ..... Forever.