Ever since D Smoke wowed viewers and judges Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and T.I. as the inaugural winner of Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow, the Inglewood, California native has been making quite a name for himself. During the competition, his talent was undeniable as he displayed his intricate lyricism during the “Rap Battle “ rounds, his soul-stirring vocals as a singer and showing his classical training on the piano in the finale.
“In addition to his undeniable talent and diversity and an elevated skill set, he had this incredible ability to articulate himself,” T.I. recalled. “He’s so poised and seemed the most prepared for this opportunity more than anyone else.”
His dexterous musicianship set him apart from the rest of the contestants and he walked away with $250,000 as the winner of season one.
After Rhythm + Flow, in 2020, he released his debut album Black Habits which was nominated for Best Rap Album and Best New Artist at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. His follow-up War and Wonders was released last year and earned him rave reviews, establishing him as an in-demand artist.
Recently, he collaborated with AGNEZ MO on the sultry remix of “Patience” and with Arin Ray on “The Mood,” a seductive banger. He released his debut COLORS performance with his latest single “Glide” and made a cameo appearance in Peacock’s hit drama Bel-Air.
With all of these accomplishments, what makes D Smoke unique is his fearlessness in expressing his vulnerabilities in his music, a trait that should never be taken for granted. He has a way of tapping into his personal experiences that speak to the universal human experience. As an insightful lyricist, a compelling songwriter, and an accomplished pianist, D Smoke is crafting space on the music scene that is uniquely his own. With a slew of collaborations and more music to be released, it’s safe to say that D Smoke is just getting started.
Before he launched his solo career, as a part of the Woodworks collective, D Smoke co-wrote “Never” for R&B singer Jaheim. He spoke about his beginnings in the R&B world and the influence of the Black Church on his music and perspective.
“I started in R&B, don’t tell on me though,” he laughed. “For what it’s worth. I’m really from a legitimate place of rap but my roots are in gospel and R&B.” In fact, R&B music is a family affair for D Smoke. His younger brother is R&B singer/producer Sir.
D Smoke believes that his formative years growing up in the Black Church helped to spark his creativity and informs how he approaches his music today.