Smino - Anita
The other day my friend referred to Smino as a “watery rapper”. His voice has a distinct southern drawl, and he bounces lightly between syllables jam packed so tight it sounds like the words are tumbling out of his mouth - he never loses the flow, landing him somewhere between “6 foot 7 foot” Wayne and Andre 3000 - but I never thought of his flow as “wet” or anything. After hearing Anita I think that Smino's voice sounds like skipping a rock across a pond - you can hear it in the way his voice pitter-patters across the track when he says “I’m… in this bih like an implanon/I’m… breaded up like a empanada/She say ‘Smino I love you’/Nada girl de nada”, bouncing along the water, softly fading out with ease.
It makes sense then that Smino and Monte Booker make a great duo - Booker’s production is as watery as it gets, and the percussion on this track particularly mirrors the sound of light rain tapping your windshield. Hats, snaps, claps, and other miscellaneous sounds subtly jump around you. When the song completely cuts out right before the aforementioned line, it could have easily been akin to being in the eye of the hurricane.
But the song is anything but chaotic - the mix is full of breathing room, giving the song an effortlessly warm feel while allowing the dynamic range of Smino’s voice to glide sweetly, relishing in the open space in front of him like the last bite of ice cream on a hot summers day. Intertwined keyboards sweetly skip around in circles before being grounded by a rambling bass line and a beautifully tremmed out guitar, evoking bittersweet memories of sunnier weather (especially in the dead of winter). or as Smino puts it, “you make December feel summer, summer, summer.”