If there were ever a spin-off flick called The League of Extraordinary RappersSmino would undeniably secure a lead role.

Since the loaded release of his debut album blkswn, the steamroller sensation produced by Sango, Smino returns with NOIR – taking a daring turn from his first LP, the Missouri native diversifies, channeling multiple voices, sounds and even the occasional yodel.

Raw, broad-ranging, and unbelievably smooth all at once, Smino dips in and out of vocal styles, musical genres, the highs and lows, and spills dirt, everywhere from riding in a “KOVERT” coupe to having “FENTY SEX (feat. Dreezy)” with his real-life Scorpio lover, and plainly put – this MC ascends beyond the game.

Just as its name would reveal, “MERLOT” is smooth from start until end, while delivering that “MF GROOVE (ft. Ravyn Lenae)“, a celestial affirmation of needing a sign from above, before enclosing the album with the mellifluent “VERIZON“, which sees Smino do what he does best – simply let it flow.

Listen below.

 

If you thought Telefone was Noname at her best, brace your ears for the Chicago native’s second album, Room 25 – one of this year’s most important albums.

Noname, a poet and a self-effacing lyricist ablaze, is undoubtedly, a rare breed. She puts pen to paper with mere power, reflecting on the past, the present and her place in a world ever-changing and in return, gifts the rap game with raw emotion.

Room 25  is pure poetry, an eclectic fusion of cosmic jazz and neo-soul, flawlessly crowned by Noname’s immersive lyrical raps. The 27-year-old begins the album with an intellectually-soothing note to “Self“, before chopping things up with an A1 rap in “Blaxploitation“.

Noname paves the path as a prodigy for lyrical chameleons, spitting real truths while delivering bliss in “Don’t Forget About Me“, “Montego Bae” and “Ace“. A tip-top state of mind is impeccably scattered throughout the album, featuring Smino, Saba, Ravyn LenaeYaw, Phoelix and more.

Enter Room 25 below.