After releasing “Rice & Gravy” in May, his first single since 2020’s “Tempo,” Smino is slowly kicking things into gear with another new single, “I Deserve (with NOS).”
The down-tempo, contemplative track is dedicated to a late friend named Pooh, and the video features Smino throwing a “rent party” for a neighbor who is set to be evicted. On the song, he outlines his dedication to his craft, rapping, “Ain’t seen my friends, bussin’ my shins/Been grindin’-nin’/ I been up, up for days/ One day this shit gone pay my kids.”
In a Twitter post, Smino explained the inspiration for the track: “Tbh I ain’t gave much of a f__k bout bein onna internet or eem bein a artist since bro left…I’m talented/blessed af tho so I can’t stop.. God gave me a lot to share so i did my best @ channeling this s__t into sumn meaningful…”
Yesterday (November 16), Billboard reported that Smino has made Motown Records his new home.
The deal is in partnership with Smino’s independent label and musical collective Zero Fatigue, which began in 2014 and includes singer Ravyn Lenae and in-house producer Monte Booker. “Smino felt at home at Motown due to his relationship with the label’s CEO/chairman Ethiopia Habtemariam and VP A&R Lindsey Lanier, two Black female executives whom he feels understand his creative vision,” according to the report.
“Smino is one of the most incredible artists in music. His limitless talent, creative vision, ambition, drive and authenticity has prepared him for this new chapter,” Habtemariam tells Billboard in a statement. “He is ready to compete at the highest levels and we are grateful to be on this journey with Smino and the Zero Fatigue/EQT team to bring his music and vision to the world.”
Smino released his first single under Motown Records, the aforementioned “I Deserve” with NOS., last week, and is following up the song with the just-released video.