Christopher Smith Jr — or as most know him — Smino, is bringing his current “The Hoopti Tour” to Denver next week. The performance comes in support of his latest album, NØIR, and will go down at Summit Music Hall downtown. Summit Music Hall underwent a hefty makeover in 2018, revamping the visibility of the entire downstairs floor and multiplying their restroom by at least thrice the size it was before.
In late 2016, Smino released a single, “blwkswn,” the first taste of his debut album of the same name. The rest of the project dropped in March of the following year and Smino’s career was off to the races. The release features the likes of fellow rapper Noname and led to Smino serving as the opener on SZA’s “CTRL Tour” and T-Pain’s “Acoustic Tour.” What followed was a series of collaborations with the likes of Mick Jenkins and Cam O’Bi, as well as producing a few tracks on his own.
Towards the end of October 2018, Smino announced a new single titled “L.M.F.” The track, produced by Sango, served as the highly anticipated declaration of new music for the rising star. A few days later, on November 8, 2018, the rest of the album NØIR was released to high critical acclaim. The album includes guest appearances from Zero Fatigue members, Bari, Jay2, and Ravyn Lenae, as well as Dreezy, and Valee and features more production from Smino than seen before. The announcement for “The Hoopti Tour” came next, along with the promise of supporting acts EarthGang and Phoelix.
Phoelix, a beloved producer from Chicago, has served Smino and friends for the last few years. The artist worked with Noname on Telefone, Saba on Bucket list Project and Smino on blkswn. After finding his voice in 2017, he dropped his “debut” of sorts with GSPL, and followed up with the equally strong TEMPO in early 2018. It is safe to say if one finds themselves a fan of Smino they are likely to appreciate the stylings of Phoelix, so hit the show up early.
After finding a new favorite in Phoelix, patrons of the April 1 show will receive a treat in rap duo EarthGang. The two began their musical journey together in their high school days and stuck to the grind, coming out with two albums, two EPs and three compilation albums before they were signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records in 2017. The two’s most recent project, Mirrorland, has two singles currently out but no release date for the album as a whole. If “Proud of U” is any indication, the rappers will serve as a perfect party to rev up the stage for Smino.
Smino’s performance comes as the musician remains relatively under the radar, something that is sure to change as the rapper, singer, producer and songwriter continues to grow. This show is not one to miss, as next time he comes through, the tickets could be scarcer to find and the venue not nearly as intimate.