Smino: "She Already Decided" Review
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
The St. Louis rapper, Smino shocked the world with his surprise mixtape. On the late hours of Monday (Apr. 20), Smino emerged with a brand new, free project entitled She Already Decided. Released on SoundCloud, the hazy tape holds 16 and features guest slots from T-Pain, Sevyn Streeter, Bari, and Rizz Capolatti. Smino actually teased the project at the end of March. He casually shared that he had both an mixtape AND album sitting "on ice."
She Already Decided follows where Smino's sophomore album, 2018's NOIR leaves listeners and re-ignites them. With an inexhaustible supply of intricate flows and cadences, the unorthodox rapper showcases the profound creativity that is Smino.
Honestly, we all should know what type of time it is the moment we start "Fronto Isley." Sampling the iconic Isley Brothers Smino eases us into the 16-tracked effort with funk. His energy is nonchalant yet cocky as he raps about women and weed. He smoothly pieces his words together almost effortlessly. A notable characteristic of Smino's is his ability to seamlessly switch from rapping-to-singing. Without breaking a sweat, he sets a sunny tone on the mood-altering intro.
As the mixtape progresses, Smino continues to show off his creativity on "Gotta List." He distorts and elongates words, utilizing strange yet enjoyable flow and delivery. Over the Kal Banx-produced beat, Smino again casually just sets fire ablaze the song. The verses are relentless, coming one after another with no breaks. On the bass-rattling "Popeyes," Smino gets in his bag as he talks his sh*t. The song samples Project Pat's "Chickenhead" and brings that dirty south vibe. By the end of the record, he receives a stamp of approval from NBA Boston Celtics player, and fellow St. Louis native, Jayson Tatum. Smino addresses the haters and biters on "Already" letting them know everything they're doing, has already been done. With a raspy voice, he deliberately slurs his words creating this intoxicating appeal.
At the end of "Already," Smino explains the origins of the mixtapes title. "Check it out, when I'm talking 'bout she already decided, I'm not taking 'bout no particular woman. I'm talking 'bout the mud; Mother nature, she already decided what it's gon' be like. It ain't up toy no more. It's above me," he declares. Smino uses this brief moment to share the message in life we will deal with things that are beyond our means of control and that is fine; there is no need to stress it.
Smino turns to S.A.D's freestyles to really have fun and let his mind wreak havoc on the project. "Cabbage" finds him rapping over Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage." The moment the beat drops, Smino rips the entire beat with his barrage-style of rapping. He raps about getting the paper, smoking his weed, and craving women like the voluptuous Ashanti. He interpolates Baby Keem's "Orange Soda" on "Blac Soda." Here, you see that he is having fun with freestyles. S.A.D's last freestyle, "Jamie Boxx," is a remix of Roddy Ricch's sensational hit, "The Box." Smino falls asleep on the gas bringing the braggadocios bars rapping about his intense marijuana use and sexual expertise with the ladies.
S.A.D.'s features are also noteworthy moments as well; more specifically, Smino and Sevyn Streeter's "Kotton Kandy." This song is freaky, freaky but so good (one of my favorites). Smino brings the charisma and sexual prowess in his soulful verses. Sevyn elevates the song to unreachable levels matching Smino's energy. With her beautiful voice, the two create a warm, passionate melody. It was one of the pure highlight of the tape. On "Mike Jones," Smino's mirrors Missy Elliott's style, reinventing her flow from Keyshia Cole's 2007 hit, "Let It Go" in the chorus. Rizz Capolatti and Smino both flex their wealth and stunt on their haters with ease. He switches the flow with Bari on "2MuchFronto." Per usual, the themes seen are sexy women, good tree, and his lavish life.
Hip-Hop cuts such as "Good Ol Julio" and "Year of The Goat" highlight both Smino's sharp-tongued pen and theatrical, classic Midwest instrumentation seen from artists like Chance The Rapper, Kanye West, and more. The production evokes soul, funk, and high-quality musicality in each of the tracks.
The mixtape ends with a remix of Smino's hit, "KLINK," from his NOIR album. With new production and the recruitment of T-Pain, the remix takes the song to an unprecedented height. The trippy, warped voice of Smino stimulates listeners while T-Pain's nostalgic charm reminds him that he is still a pioneer in the industry.
S.A.D. fills the bellies of listeners and Smino fanatics who have desperately craved more than just a mere single. It lets us into the chaotically beautiful mind of Smino as he says what he wants to say exactly how he wants to say it. His bars are dope. His creativity is so unique and his flow sets him apart from other rappers today. As he shared before, the tape is just something to give the fans. It is carefree and very fun to listen to. In my opinion, the mixtape also is a great introduction to the artist if you have never listened to him. It leaves you wanting to hear more from the talent that is Smino.
Top 5 Songs from She Already Decided:
Honorable Mention: Year of the Goat, Good Ol Julio
You can stream Smino's She Already Decided on SoundCloud now.