With the constant churn of new music these days, it’s easy to overlook gems, which is why D Smoke‘s latest is worth taking a listen to. “Shame On You,” which he dropped on Friday, deserves a little space of its own for its defiant and motivational message praising the independent, righteous rebels of the music industry. He also advocates switching up the usual shootouts that many of his rap peers propagate in favor of good, old-fashioned fisticuffs: “Put the Glock away and sock on they face / Show your pain if you brave,” he challenges in verse two.
The Rhythm+Flow champion from the City of Champions has kept a relatively low profile in 2021 as he works on the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated 2020 debut Black Habits, but that hasn’t stopped him from poking his head out to deliver a few choice shots of his hard-won Inglewood wisdom. After opening the year with the motivational “It’s OK” and its accompanying video, in March, he joined Nigeria’s Fireboy DML for an inspiring track titled — what else? — “Champion,” and contributed to another Netflix project in the form of the “Basketball” theme song from the basketball-themed Last Chance U reboot.
Listen to “Shame On You” above.