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.

 

— Multifaceted artist, Mereba (AKA Marian Mereba), is ready to recharge and get back to work after recently coming off of tour. But, before you start looking for new work from her, check out her first Spotify Playlist Takeover.

Although Marian Mereba isn’t quite a household name just yet, the Ethiopian-American musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer can easily be viewed as one of the most eclectic artists on the scene. As a frequent collaborator of Atlanta’s Spillage Village Hip-Hop collectiveMereba has been featured on countless Hip-Hop tracks and has been highly sought after for her ability to flawlessly blend numerous genres. In fact, her musical palette makes her the perfect candidate for playlist curation and Spotify has taken notice. One can only imagine that this had a lot to do with their decision to reach out to Mereba to takeover their Shuga Cane playlist.

The playlist features an incredible assortment of artists and songs from a variety of genres and cultural backgrounds within the African diaspora. When announcing her Shuga Cane takeover on Facebook Mereba wrote,

“It’s in celebration of today’s launch of Spotify’s new #AfroHub  which is a space to celebrate our rich & diverse African heritages & shine new light on music across the African diaspora.”

The phenomenal list of artists featured on the playlist include Arima Ederra, Fela Kuti, Ari Lennox, Afro B, Kardinal Offishall, Masego, Noname, Smino, J.I.D., Sade, Miriam Makeba, and too many more to name.

The playlist is undoubtedly worth a listen (or ten), so be sure to check it out right here. Also, stay tuned for more from Mereba as she’s been working on a new project. Her latest 2 releases,“Black Truck” and“Planet U” are expected to appear on the project as well—both of which appear on the Shuga Cane playlist above.

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.