It’s hard to keep up with the steady stream of quality rap releases, but make some time this weekend for Smino’s sophomore album, Noir.
Released Thursday, the hour-long project is a strong follow-up to his well-received 2017 debut, blkswn. This time, Smino presents a playful, varied collection of bops, interspersed with short segues and skits, some of them so whispery they could qualify as ASMR.
The St Louis rapper delights in the elasticity of his flow, buoyed by warm, soul-indebted beats from a number of producers, among them longtime collaborators Monte Booker and Sango. Guests flit through: No Fatigue labelmates Bari and Jay2 show up, while appearances by Chicagoans Valee, Dreezy and Ravyn Lenae testify to the city’s well of musical talent as well as Smino’s affection and musical affinity for the Windy City.
Stream Noir below:
And check out the heartwarming visual for “LMF” here.