St. Louis rapper/singer Smino’s style is a defiant display of dueling personalities, so it makes sense that his video for blkswn single “Wild Irish Roses” has two competing storylines. In the first, Smino sends his date into a liquor store for backwoods while he waits in the car (now, Smino, you know your mama taught you better than that) and she gets caught up in a The Wood-inspired robbery after running into an old friend in the store.
Meanwhile, in the video’s more conventional storyline, Smino spends the evening engaged with a virtual reality video game that puts him in the midst of some classic sexual fantasies like “hot teacher” and “sexy ninja dominatrix.” It’s a perfect complement to the slinky beat and seductive subject matter, but the fact that the “controller” is a drone remote might take you out of the moment if you let it. Directed by Jean Deaux, the video shows all the ways in which date night can go right and wrong.
The fast-rising, twist-haired rapper has been slowly but steadily building his resume with a series of standout guest performances with rappers like Tobi Lou on “Troop” and Cam Obi on “Tenderheaded,” earning himself a reputation for smooth, sinuous deliveries and his distinctive falsetto. His 2017 debut album, blkswn, was one of the year’s best projects and shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re in the mood for vibrant rap without the harsh atmosphere of trap or the abrasive hypermasculinity of ’90s boom-bap. Smino’s third-option funk-hop delivers all the lyrical flavor of the latter but goes down as smoothly as a shot of Irish whiskey.