by Fennella Miller
Netflix launched their inaugural season of 'Rhythm + Flow'. Rhythm + Flow is a competitive hip-hop series where talented MC’s battle to win the crown and ultimately a $250,000 cash prize. They are judged by well-known industry artists such as Chance the Rapper, T.I and Cardi B. Many talented artists with superb lyrical talent competed, yet one came out on top, D Smoke.
D Smoke is a phenomenal rapper from Inglewood, California with undeniable musical and lyrical talent. He graduated from the prestigious UCLA and has been pursuing music for practically his whole life. When it comes to D Smoke’s love and ear for music, it is clearly in his DNA. His mother is a piano instructor and his brother is an artist as well and signed to Kendrick Lamar’s label. D Smoke also plays both the piano and guitar, and has co-written songs for popular artists like Jaheim. Needless to say, music is ingrained in his soul.
What fans will really love about his story is that D Smoke pursued both rap and teaching full-time. He worked as a teacher to fund his passion for music and gave both full- time devotion. His journey serves as encouragement for all artists and entrepreneurs out there that may have jobs that aren’t exactly their dream. Use that job to fund your dreams until your dreams can fund your lifestyle.
D Smoke decided to enter the Rhythm + Flow competition to put his music on a global platform and it did exactly that. During the show, his lyrical talent was evident through his performances as well as performance style. D Smoke spits bilingual fire in both English and Spanish, and what makes his flow so impressive is the fact that he isn’t even a native Spanish speaker. He learned Spanish so that his music could relate to more people.
In a recent interview with People TV, D Smoke mentioned that he wants his music and hip hop, in general, to cross over into different cultures. He expressed how important he believes it is for rap artists to be versatile in order to be successful. “As a complete artist, you want to be able to tap into that battle energy…that aggressive hip-hop energy, but still grow from that. Show what you can do in the studio. Show what your presence is in a music video and in a larger scale performance.” D Smoke is not interested in compartmentalizing his rap skill sets but expanding and marketing his craft in relatable ways to reach a larger audience.
In his final performance on Rhythm + Flow, D Smoke brought out his love for versatility. He started off by serenading the audience with the piano and a powerful rap with a poetic flow. He transitioned into rapping solid bars, spitting like the modern day MC he truly is. The whole dynamic of his performance was incredible, with dancers, smoke and overall great delivery. The entire audience couldn’t help but give him a standing ovation afterwards, and even during his performance. D Smoke is a master of creativity. His performance style is powerful, and when on the stage, it’s more like an experience.
Since winning the Rhythm + Flow competition, D Smoke has released his EP titled “Inglewood High”. The EP is named after the high school he graduated from and where he also taught. After winning the $250,000 prize, Smoke has been utilizing the money to create scholarships for the students at Inglewood High. This man and his overall vision is highly commendable. He is definitely an artist who deserves support from music listeners. Through his musical style and expertise, he pays homage to real hip-hop.
Check D Smoke out, if you already haven’t. Listeners will find that he embodies everything that authentic hip-hop music has always been about.
To listen to more of D Smoke's music and check out his videos, please visit www.DSmokeMusic.com