Top 25 Favorite Albums of 2019
22. Inglewood High - D Smoke
When Netflix announced that they were developing a Hip Hip competition show I scoffed a little bit. Music competition shows has become so stale in the sense that the talent doesn’t be that great and the format is usually copy-paste. To my surprise Rhythm and Flow had figured it out. There was a bunch of standout talent on the show but none stood out more than Inglewood’s very own D Smoke. I knew quickly that was the artist I would root for when he looked Uncle Snoop in the eyes and stayed true to self through his LA taunts. He had a real nigga’s aura standing tall on that stage and I instantly became invested in his journey on the show. Then the music started to show exactly what we saw in his actions. When he rapped I kind of heard Kendrick but then I quickly took that back because I’ve never heard Kenny rap in Spanish fluently. Then the producer round came and I remember yelling at the TV “give D Smoke Sounwave, I need to hear that.” He came in that studio ready and dammit do he gave us life with that Last Supper record. That was the moment I said “oh he better be releasing a project soon.” And we got it and I love it. Inglewood High is a seven track project that is highly concentrated in greatness. It completely creates that separation from the comparisons that I know big bro is tired of. There’s not one wasted song on Inglewood High and that’s what I like to see lon these short bodies of work. Too often do artists make these concise projects and have filler. This is good tape all the way through. The intro track Inglewood High grabbed my attention quickly. With the quartet style layering of the vocals at the top. Then Smoke comes in rapping rapping and it hit me without hearing another song on the tape that this dude is gonna capitalize off his win like I’ve never seen anyone do from these competitions. felt like that off the first listen and the more I listened to the tape that idea settled in. But the intro told me that very quickly. HONEY JACK!!! That bop is everything man. This is one of my favorite songs of the year easily. The way he breaks down how people be acting off the bottle was dope. His ability to find that character in his deliverance of this record is awesome and it’s something I’m studying as a brand new who’s looking to get better at delivering and being in the moment of my bars. Did I mention that Terrace Martin pulled up with the saxophone? I didn’t? Well yeah big bro came through and gave the song extra life. I’m proud of that Honey Jack as if I made it. There’s only seven tracks so I’ll mention Carry On real quick and let y’all go love this project if you don’t already. Sha’leah Nikole
has the voice of an angel gosh darn it. The way she floats on that hook is too nice. Smoke did what Smoke does but I was pleasantly surprised with this Tommy Sketch fella. I was so invested in what he was doing and saying I didn’t realize that he even had a lisp until like two weeks later when it was pointed out to me. I really enjoyed how he was flowing on the record. The transition between the outro and intro is really dope, he tied this project up nicely. As much as I love this project I wish there was more. I really love that there’s no skips on this project but there wasn’t many out of this world moments that would take it from good to Great. Which would have put it higher on the list. It was consistent good all the way through and it’s made me excited about D Smoke’s upcoming Album which I hope he takes some bigger risks on because he’s talented enough to take that step into realm of our generation’s Greats. Inglewood High is good way to jab off the competition show now he’s gotta show us that uppercut.
D Smoke took the twenty-second spot with Inglewood High. I wanted say thank you and congratulations to D Smoke. Smoke showed me it’s never too late to get where you dreamed of. And sometimes the way you think you’ll get there isn’t always how you will. When you’re baby brother, (who I’ve written about last year as having a top 5 R&B Album here https://www.induberantlymedia.com/post/top-5-r-b-albums-of-2018), is signed to one of the Greatest labels ever in TDE and you’ve written some of the dopest songs ever for people you’d think you would be as revered as some of the other artists in the game. But that wasn’t the hand you were dealt and took an opportunity others with your resume may have not taken and showed your ass. I was all the way inspired by you bro. I hope to one day get a point where I can see your Greatness in the studio in person.