Grammy award-nominated rapper D Smoke is not slowing down at all.
The musical phenom has partnered with concert streaming platform, DREAMSTAGE for the on April 17th for The Black Habits Experience, a soon-to-be-revolutionary, ultra high resolution livestream performance. D Smoke returns to the stage in a way befitting his talents.
With the global pandemic crippling the live show business worldwide, this concert is a game changing experience and also marks the first time D Smoke hits the stage in over a year. He made his mark on a stage – of sorts. Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow, the 2019 series, put him on the map globally. And he has not disappointed since. The Inglewood, CA native received an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding New Artist and Black Habits, his debut album, earned him a pair of 2021 Grammy nominations – one for Best Rap Album and the other for Best New Artist.
D Smoke, fluent in Spanish, also allows his music to bring together the Black and Brown community and this will be ever-present in his live show.
D Smoke and Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur speak about performance in a pandemic, how the rapper is tackling the next chapter of his career and how important the live show is for him.
AllHipHop: How’s it going?
D Smoke: Man, I’m doing great. How are you?
AllHipHop: I’m good, man. You got that? You got that? Post Grammy fashion look all right now what’s good with you?
D Smoke: Man, it’s it’s cold up here, but you know, excited things going down. So I got my outdoors attire on.
AllHipHop: There’s this concert that you have coming up – Dreamstage, April 17th, The Black Habits Experience. Talk to me about it. What’s this experience going to be like?
D Smoke: The Black Habits Experience. This is the tour that never happened. This is the musical experience. This is the show that helps illustrate what Black Habits is about, both musically and story wise. It’s going to be a combination of some film elements that help us fill in the gaps to, you know, the stories that the album is telling. So some of what we’ve done film wise is going to the city of Inglewood and spoken to people that are close to me to just get the same stories, but from their perspective. And, you know, from my dad and mom to my brothers, and then as well as people from the city who could just speak to what it means to grow up in Inglewood.
So those kind of film elements will be woven into a live band experience with a three six – 10-piece band. So it’s just going to be one of those experiences that that really gives people a wonderful kind of listening of what Black Habits is about.
AllHipHop: Nice. So it’ll be sort of like a theater experience? A multi dimensional look at you.
D Smoke: Yeah, it was definitely a multi multi dimensional experience. Has its visual elements to it. And even just a thought that goes into things like the stage plot and how, who we incorporate even the people on stage in the band will be members of my family who were there when when these stories (played out in real life). My mother is going to join me again, my uncle will be playing bass. You know, this is my same uncle who, when I was 13, gave me all of his studio equipment, and set us off on being our own creators and producers and stuff. And, he’s also the same uncle that played bass for you know, Chaka Khan,Prince and Destiny’s Child and some everybody so those will be people who are joining me, as well as my cousins and my brothers.
AllHipHop: You’ve worked with significant rap fam family as well too. Will any of those folks show up?
D Smoke: We got some we got some guests that’ll be joining us. Tobe Nwigwe is gonna pull up and bless us. And then I also did a song with Kirby (“Super Power”). So she’s going to be coming through and we’ll performance together. So we got some guests coming up. And I’m still reaching out to see who’s available. Yeah, maybe some surprises. And this pandemic, but it feels like we’re we’re on the other side – approaching it.
D Smoke: Approaching it. We’re for sure approaching the other side and, and I look forward to getting out and being able to see people in person, and touch the fans., You know, reach the fans in person and show them what it means to share physical space and really give them that artistic that exchange of energy. Me, you know, having them in the room and then getting to see the art up close and personal. So, I’m for sure with that. I’m about that life and I look forward to that.
AllHipHop: Yeah, it’s interesting. Last time we talked you you spoke a lot about the performance aspect of it. I know It’s important to you, but overall, how important has it been to your success? The performance? Because I think that’s an element, a lot of MCs, if you will, forget about.
D Smoke: Right. Well, I mean, I think a lot of what people saw, like my introduction to the world had to do with my understanding and my experience in performing. I started off wanting to be a piano performance major and that, even that was one of those elements that set me apart on “Rhythm and Flow.” And, even not doing much, but in high school dancing, doing Hip-Hop dancing in his little crew, you know, what I’m saying. Even though I haven’t been dancing as of late, it just made me familiar with at least hitting certain points, so that an overall like, show could have a whole nother level or layer of energy. Those are some things that that kind of put me in this position, to be honest, because I was extremely competitive on “Rhythm and Flow.” And, you know, a lot of people believed in me from the jump, but from my perspective, it was like, if I didn’t pull out all stops at every point in time, it was anybody’s to take. So those things definitely played a role in me having this opportunity now to be on a global platform.
AllHipHop: Now, things are probably never going to truly go back to being what they were. Companies like myself, we’ve adopted this new way of doing things and haven’t quite missed a beat. Obviously, we missed the energy of sitting in front of someone, but for you, do you think this virual experience is the new way – a new revenue stream, a new way to reach people? Or will you drop that when things open up?
D Smoke: I believe I believe people will continue doing this, you know. I believe there, there’s a large musical audience that may not want to go back out to shows. So, I think it’ll be a hybrid of like, touring for the people who are into that, like, more intimate settings. I imagine you have smaller crowds and larger venues now. Capacities in the same spaces will go down, and the spaces won’t change size. So, people who aren’t really for that experience, because it also may entail other stipulations from, you know, temperature checks, COVID tests, vaccinations, you know, what I’m saying.
And there’s a large population of people who are like their preferences, their own to, you know, go about their health, however they see fit. So that they may just be like, you know, I’d rather stay home and stream it. But then for those of those people who enjoy that exchange of energy in person, they’re gonna do what it takes to go out. So probably see a hybrid of the two. So it’s cool that these things are showing up, especially in this time. For me it the fans need to see this and they need to see it now. They don’t want to wait until, you know, I’m putting out another album to go back and experience Black Habits because I got, I got plenty music.
Streams LIVE Saturday, April 17th @ 10PM ET
Available for Video on Demand 48 hours after the show
Tickets available for purchase HERE
Single ticket retails for $14.99 until performance day | $19.99 day of performance