For Episode 4 we catch up with a Smoovth, a veteran MC who is making not only some of the best music of his career but some of the best music in all of underground hip hop. From MySpace to Soundcloud, the man has stood the test of time and did it his way. Your not going to find any cheesy hooks or weak punchlines in Smoovth’s music, just a detailed look into the streets of Hempstead. We talk to him about his early days with The Connection, and what he has in store for 2018
RD: How did The Connection with Hus Kingpin form?
S: We met through a mutual friend and started to hang out, and found out that we messed with similar music. He introduced me to recording, I was always into emceeing but had not laid down any music yet. We linked with with my guy Marvelous Mag, then started doing shows. Eventually we moved in together, and explored Myspace for beats to record to. We used an instrumental from a Swedish producer, and when he heard it he ended up sending us more beats.
RD: You and Hus are notorious for using foreign-born producers, what are some of the most obscure/rarest place you’ve received music from?
S: Finland, Sweden, we’ve gotten beats from Africa. I don’t know what would be considered the rarest, but there’s been stuff from all over the globe. In my opinion a lot of these guys have more heat than American producers.
RD: Talk about recording with the legendary Roc Marciano for The Connection’s ‘Strive’
S: That was a natural fit, Roc is from my neighborhood and we share some family friends. He grew up with my uncles, same school as Busta and Leaders of the New School. He actually laid his verse first, then Hus and I finished it off.
RD: Is there a different approach writing for group/posse cuts than solo songs?
S: Big difference. A lot of times with Hus he’ll already have the concept laid out and the beat has been selected. In an instance like that, its just about writing to the track and completing the song. For a solo, your on your own. Song concepts, beat selection and song formats are all on you. I prefer to be be myself recording solo songs, just zoned out and focused. Usually start in the morning, just use that fresh energy and throw the beat on to write. Once the first few lines get on the page, its on.
RD: Giallo Point is your most frequent collaborator, you guys are working on album #3. How did that relationship come about?
S: Heard a couple joints on Soundcloud, reached out and as it turned out he was fans of what we were doing as well. After a couple songs were completed we kept going and it eventually turned into Portrait of a Pimp. The chemistry was there, the styles were very complimentary. The response for that is what turned out to be Medellin
RD: The sequel to that is in the works, correct?
S: Working on that now, I’m 11, maybe 13 songs deep. That’s up next.
RD: How did it feel to see Medellin get pressed up on physical formats, and be met with so much critical acclaim?
S: Feels great, I always felt that respect from cats about what I do, but to see them reach out again for that physical copy of it is special. I stay humble about it, but its great to see stuff get sold out. We’ve had so much positive feedback, I don’t want to use ‘overwhelming’ but its been crazy to see all these pics and posts about our album.
RD: What are some of your biggest influences?
S: Hip hop wise, Ghostface is up there. I throw on Supreme Clientele often, It Was Written-era Nas. Reloaded is my favorite Roc Marc album, thrown that for inspiration often as well. I listen to a lot of different music, from soft rock to some other things. Pretty much everything but country and things of that nature.
RD: What’s your dream collab?
S: Premier, RZA for a beat. Any of the Wu members would be a dream, Ghostface obviously would be up there.
RD: Once Medellin 2 is completed, whats next for 2018?
S: An album with Bronze Nazareth, that’s my main focus after that’s done. I’m trying to continuously drop dope music
S: All the Winners, Gold Chain Music. Tristate, Killa Kali, Supreme Cerebral, Big Twins, I don’t wanna leave anyone out, i mess with a lot of dope people! Roc Marci, Planet Asia cant forget them
Be on the lookout for Medellin 2, coming soon. We attached the albums single ‘Rotten Apple’ which features Crimeapple and Eto. We wish Smoovth well in all his endeavors, he was easily one of the nicest people we have reached out to thus far. Cop the music, support dope shit.
Winners twitter @thewinnersworld