D Smoke's Black Habits is the 2020 Good Kid: M.A.A.D City
Updated: Mar 14
Rhythm & Flow winner and Inglewood own's D Smoke has released a new album called Black Habits on February 7th, 2019 under WoodWork Records and EMPIRE. Before appearing on the show Ryhtym & Flow hosted by T.I., Chance The Rapper and Cardi B, D Smoke released a couple of projects like his first album called Producer of The Year in 2006 and has appeared in a couple of songs from his brother SiR, Davion Farris and Sha'leah Nikole. After winning the Rhythm & Flow contest D Smoke released his first EP called Inglewood High and he, later on, appeared on The Game's last album Born 2 Rap. D Smoke also comes from a musical family, he's the brother of TDE artist SiR, and his cousin Tiffany Gouche wrote songs for The Pussycat Dolls and Ginuwine. Black Habits features Snoop Dogg, SiR, Ari Lennox, Jill Scott, Jackie Gouche, Iguocho and Davion Farris. The album cover is a picture of D Smoke, his brothers and his parents.
The album starts with the introduction called "Morning Prayer" where you hear kids praying in the morning with their mother before going to school. The song "Bullies" has a very good instrumental, and the song has so many details like how the verses and the hook have well-separated transitions, and D Smoke even raps a Spanish bridge towards the end and it was well done. I also loved how he maintained the main subject of the song with different scenarios and D Smoke way of rapping and his voice reminds me of early mixtape Kendrick Lamar. Then we have the song "No Commas" and what a dope instrumental this song has. It starts with D Smoke talking in Spanish and then he just went off on this song and he showed that he is not the average rapper your hear on the radio every day. He rapped about how it is living in Inglewood and how the government system is declining the life of the people living in the inner cities. Another dope instrumental from the track "Gaspar Yanga", and this one is featuring Snoop Dogg. D Smoke rapping abilities on this song were really good, the background singing during the entire song made it even more enjoyable, and with Snoop on the hook, I'm giving this song a 5/5. Just like Snoop said in his hook and from what I'm hearing so far from D Smoke, he's rapping some real elements and he might just start a movement.
When I thought I heard the dopest instrumental from the album, it's just getting better song by song as "Top of The Morning" is giving you a real California smooth vibe with a nice bass and the horns in the back were very nice. Of course, the lyrical abilities and the flow of D Smoke were very good as well, and he again gave us a Spanish bridge during the song. "Sunkissed Child" is featuring Jill Scott on the hook and Iguocho who's also on the hook using a talkbox like the late Roger Troutman and both artists did an amazing job on this song. Now to D. Smoke, all I can say is that he's showing that he's a true spitter when it comes to rap and he doesn't rap about how good he is on the mic or about a luxury life, he's spitting some intelligent wisdom rap. Overall, he's rapping like a poet. The following song is called "Black Habits" featuring Jackie Gouche and the song is about black pride, meaning that black people should always embrace their culture and who they are because black people went and are still going through hard times in the United States of America. Then we have the song "Fly" featuring Davion Farris and the beat is nice and smooth. I was enjoying the song with D Smoke's rapping until I heard Davion Farris hook and it made me love the song even more. Farris singing was a good addition to the song.
After listening to half of Black Habits, the album is really dope and there's not one song I would skip. The song "Season Pass" is a smooth song where D Smoke raps about being down with a girl he likes and he thinks she likes him too and he might think that things are moving too fast, but he doesn't want to wait to make a move before it's too late; before the season pass. Then we have a nice vibe from the song "Fallin'" where D Smoke raps about his girl leaving him and how most guys should be wise about their decision to be with a girl so that they don't end up being into the wrongs hands and they shouldn't treat a nice girl bad. The song ends with a funny interlude between D Smoke and his friends. The following song is "Lights On" featuring Top Dog Entertainment artist, SiR who is also D Smoke's brother, and it's followed by the song "Real Body" featuring Ari Lennox. "Free" has a nice laid back instrumental and D Smoke's message really made the song deep. The subject regarding being a black man in the USA was well broken down by D Smoke and the song ends deep aswell with a tribunal interlude. Then we have a nice song called "Like My Daddy" with a cool instrumental. D Smoke raps about his relationship with his father, the 3rd verse was for D Smoke's child I would assume and I liked some of the bars in the second verse "We was just some ninjas in the wood, you Master Splinter...Kamehameha, you was Goku, Super Saiyan, pro And I'm just trainin' to be just like you one day and more." The dope instrumentals continue in the song "Closer To God" featuring SiR. A lot of subjects were mention in this song, especially about God, how churches function and how Christians behave and again, D Smoke's way of rapping in this song reminds of Kendrick Lamar's early rapping days. The album finishes with the song "Black Habits II" which is a continuation of the song "Black Habits".
D Smoke delivered a great album. I honestly don't have any negative remarks on Black Habits. The production and the instrumentals were dope. I felt like D Smoke was rapping like a poet turn rapper, his Spanish raps were also a great twist to the album, the skits made you understand D Smoke's story like Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid: M.A.A.D City and I knew before I pressed play on the album that I was into something good because his performance in Rhythm and Flow was amazing. I haven't listened to his early work but I will definitely give them a listen. People don't sleep on D Smoke, he's something else, Supa Good, Inglewood.
Beat Instrumental: 4.5/5
Album Production: 4/5