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Miami rapper Smokepurpp drags hip-hop into the sunlight

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Smokepurpp is part of a class of young Florida rappers who’ve dragged hip-hop into the blistering sun to bake without sunscreen. Born in Chicago and raised in the Miami area, Smokepurpp has absorbed one of Chief Keef’s greatest lessons: there’s nothing wrong with ignoring hip-hop’s strict verse structure if it means you’re making music that feels alive. Smokepurpp skimps on bars, often half-forming his words as though he’s just woken up from a nap and is hazy about what’s coming out of his mouth. As keen as he is to fly in the face of convention by emphasizing melody—he mostly sings his way through the dreamlike “Glock in my Benz”—he flaunts his rap skills too. On the 2016 single “6 Ringz” Smokepurpp spits out his lines like they’ve got a bad aftertaste, feeding off the energy of a nasty, blown-out bass that threatens to leave a burn. Interscope imprint Alamo Records, which has taken a shine to Florida’s young rising rappers, signed Smokepurpp earlier this year; his Deadstar mixtape is due to drop any day now.   v

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