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Smino ~ blkswn (Album Review)

Smino – “blkswn”

Smino is another young musical talent at the forefront of the Midwest music scene. His latest project “blkswn” is the culmination of years and years of hard work and determination. It sounds like growth, it sounds southern, it sounds raw and uncut, but more than anything it sounds like he really took his time with this project and settled for nothing less than a masterpiece.

I’ve been watching Smino for just over a year and what I’ve noticed more than anything is his calculated strategy and the mutual love given to and received from his fans and closest supporters. Some of his biggest supporters are Midwest creative and musical geniuses’ in their own right. This list includes but is not limited to – Drea Smith, Bari, Saba, Jean Deaux, Ravyn Lenae, Monte Booker, Noname, Via Rosa, Akenya, Mick Jenkins, and more! Many of whom were featured on “blkswn.”

My First Impression

My first impression of the album was “wow this is a melting pot of so many different sounds, feelings, textures, thoughts, ideas, and cultures.” Some of my favorite takeaways (and not just because of the brilliant song names) are “Netflix & Dusse” – “Glass Flows” – “Father Son Holy Smoke” – “Amphetamine” – “Long Run” – “blkswn” – and believe me it’s super hard to stop there but if I added another it’d have to be 2 and then 3… Smino reminds me slightly of another midwestern artist that’s been on the tip of tongues quite a bit lately. Chance the Rapper’sAcid Rap” knocked down the door for artists like Smino to feel confident that having good music with a message and careful strategy was enough to break into an industry largely dominated by a select few gatekeepers. In the age of information and networking, generating a profitable business is a more attainable goal then ever before. Smino’s ‘Zero Fatigue‘ clique encompasses many of the artists featured on the project and several of them have projects out of their own…

In Conclusion…

I’m thoroughly impressed with what I’ve been hearing out of the Midwest lately and in my opinion Smino just released the most complete musical project that I’ve heard of recent. The only other project I’ve been listening to as much lately is Masego’sLoose Thoughts” and Cornrow Kenny’sDAMN.” but that’s a post for another day. Check out “blkswn” below and feel free to comment your thoughts, opinions, reactions, and first impressions, I’m really interested in hearing what you guys think! & of course share this article freely! 😉🔌

Smino is currently on his “Swanitatour. For all of our D.C. readers come vibe with us at Songbyrd on the 7th of May to hear his amazing work in the flesh. Note: He’ll also be at Broccoli Fest on the 6th.

Social Media & Music Links:

Smino – ‘blkswn





Social Media:

Twitter: @SminoBrown

Facebook: @SminoBrown

Snapchat: @Smeezydot

Instagram: @Smino

Smino – Anita‘ (Music Video)

Zero Fatigue

Jean Deaux (Twitter):

Ravyn Lenae – “Moon Shoes” (EP):

Monte Booker (SoundCloud):

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Benny Universe ~ Grown Ass Kid

Benny Universe

“Grown Ass Kid”
Prod. by Elijah Ali


Benny Universe, formerly known as “Kidd Prodigee,” is a 20 year old Singer/Rapper and songwriter from Maryland. “I make music because it’s the only thing that can not be taken away from me, I lost my mother at the age of 10 and I never knew my father, all my life I have had everything taken away from me beyond my power and now I use my music as my power. I currently record all my songs on an iPad. What I want to do with my music is to inspire other people who are in a similar situation to me and let them know that things can change for the better.”

Grown Ass Kid is his first music release as Benny Universe. It has a jazz influenced soundtrack with smooth keys creating a delicate bed for his equally smooth vocals to lay over, a classic hiphop 808 carries the track rhythmically as Benny croons about the perils of growing up. I know he’s not the only one who hasn’t figured out how to “Adult” quite yet or maybe we just simply don’t want to…*sigh*

Check out the song below and follow him to keep up with future releases!


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Jimi X ~ Famine

Jimi X


Prod. by Purist Potillo

“Famine is a declaration to eat by any means.” – Jimi X

“Famine” is the newest release by San Antonio, Texas artist Jimi X. This song is motivation to go out and get it by any means necessary. “Niggas gotta eat” and often times, with the way our democracy is set up, many of us are left feeling famished and forgotten. Play this song if you don’t know how your going to pay rent this month; I’m sure by the end of the 4 minutes and 40 seconds, you’ll have figured something out!

Instagram & Twitter: @puristpotillo

Snapchat: @iampotillo

Listen on Spotify:

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