When: Thu., Jan. 21, 9 p.m. 2016
Smino is the only Chicago rapper I’ve seen rock a stage while decked out in Cardinals gear. The 24-year-old grew up in Saint Louis and uses his growing role in the local scene as a megaphone for his hometown (in a recent interview for the hip-hop blog Pigeons & Planes he waxes lyrical about the impact of Nelly). But Chicago is where Smino has come into his own, building a nest at Classick Studios and finding collaborators to pull into his Zero Fatigue crew. He’s also discovered a foil in producer Monte Booker, who produced the recent Smino EPs Sick Sick Sick and Blk Juptr. Booker’s clattering, sumptuous yet minimal instrumentals offer the rapper the perfect sandbox to play in. Smino’s mellifluous croaks and croons—and his speedy nonstick transitions between opposing vocal styles—suggest that he’s less concerned with blurring the lines between rap, R&B, and pop than he is in pretending those lines don’t exist. No wonder Smino got tagged to perform at Red Bull’s latest Sound Select series, which matches great local talents with national wonders. Fake Shore Drive curated this one, and as with all the other FSD Sound Selects it’ll be to your advantage to show up early for the Chicago acts and get a good spot for the main attraction. Tonight it’s Bay Area legend Too Short.
Price: $10, $3 RSVP