We can probably thank Nelly for putting St. Louis rap on the map in a major, mainstream way, but it still feels like an underdog city. Smino reps it hard, though, So hard, in fact, that he ignored the international Friday release date just to drop his debut album blkswn on 3/14 (314 is STL’s area code). He loves his hometown, but he’s also a kindred spirit with the rap scene that’s thriving in the nearby Chicago. A handful of Chicago artists appear on blkswn, like Noname, Ravyn Lenae, and theMIND. And, like Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, blkswn is a very communal, collaborative album. Even on the songs with no guests credited, there’s a group of singers fleshing out Smino’s own voice, which is usually somewhere between singing and rapping. He delivers his sweet-as-honey flow over downtempo, atmospheric production, which comes courtesy of Monte Booker on all but two tracks. The sound is something that’s not easy to pigeonhole. He’s got hints of ’70s soul, ’90s rap, and futuristic R&B. Smino and Monte manage to meld all those sounds into something that’s entirely their own.

St. Louis rapper Smino just released new album blkswn which was one of Andrew's Five Notable Releases this week. If you haven't checked it out, you can stream it below.

Smino will be hitting the road this spring on the "Swanita Tour" with Monte Booker, Jay2, Bari and Jean Deaux. Dates include a stop in NYC at Bowery Ballroom on Mary 2. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

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Smino - 2017 Tour Dates
Apr 26 Bottom Lounge Chicago, IL
Apr 27 Pike Room Detroit, MI
Apr 29 Adelaide Hall Toronto, Canada
May 01 Brighton Music Hall Allston, MA
May 02 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
May 05 Coda Philadelphia, PA
May 06 Broccoli City Festival Washington, DC
May 09 King's Barcade Raleigh, NC
May 10 Vinyl ATL Atlanta, GA
May 12 Gasa Gasa New Orleans, LA
May 13 Deep Ellum Live Dallas, TX
May 14 House Of Blues Bronze Peacock Houston, TX
May 16 Valley Bar Phoenix, AZ
May 17 Constellation Room Santa Ana, CA
May 20 Venue Oakland Oakland, CA
May 22 Peter's Room at Roseland Portland, OR
May 23 Columbia City Theatre Seattle, WA
May 24 The Alexander Vancouver, Canada
May 26 Larimer Lounge Denver, CO
May 27 GRANADA THEATRE Lawrence, KS
May 28 Delmar Hall Saint Louis, MO

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