Updated: Aug 29, 2019
With summer just around the corner the weather is finally warming up and this artist is bringing the heat! Inspired by old and new school lyrical geniuses like Jadakiss, Drag-On, Wale, J. Cole, and Nipsey Hussle - - A Closer Look would like to present to you, the brilliant perspicacious Hip-Hop artist, Smiff.
Smiff was raised in a neighborhood by the name of Wilmont in Roanoke, Virginia. Growing up, he lived in a single parent household and moved around frequently. “I pretty much lived in almost every underserved neighborhood in the city,” Smiff stated. In his younger days, he admits he was once a rebellious teen and hung around the wrong crowd. Eventually, after witnessing the downfall of his peers, he learned from their mistakes and was moved to make a decision that changed his life.
In his senior year of High School, Smiff decided to finally join a program by the name of STEP. STEP was a program dedicated to helping troubled African American males and supplying them with valued education. After immersing himself in the program, it was there Smiff developed a new outlook on life for the better and later graduated from Livingstone College.
Outside of his academics, Smiff enjoyed the game of basketball, listening to music, and attending car shows with the accompany of his father and uncle. “Still till this day we go and admire old school cars,” Smiff stated. As of music, whether it's listening and studying the lyricism or writing, music has always been in his life. Dating back to 1998 at the age of eight, Smiff recalls a time waiting in his grandmother's car and discovering a Notorious B.I.G tape, after popping it in and listening, he remembers how amazed he was with Biggie’s flow. From there, music flourished in his life overtime with the help of musical inspirations like Drag-On.
On the topic of music, Smiff correlates writing music as a therapeutic outlet. With that in mind, he’s able to face reality and present to his supporters a narrative they can identify with. “If you want to escape reality, I’m not the artist for you, but if you want to face it, I’m for you,” As stated by Smiff. In terms of how raw and real his music is, if it’s for you, it’s for you- if not, close the envelope and pass it on.
In regards to the DMV’s music scene, Smiff has performed on a number of platforms in D.C. and the Northern Virginia area, and admires the energy the DMV brings. When it comes to dream venues, he wishes to grace the stage of Maryland’s own, The Fillmore. “I’m trying to pack it out!” Smiff declared.
This year Smiff has a plan to kickstart his international UK tour, drop more visuals, and gain more exposure. In addition, he plans on releasing his anticipated music videos for his additional singles from his project To Whom It May Concern. He also shares with us his intentions to increase the awareness of his music and acquire 5,000 people on board and progress organically from there.
Aside from music, Smiff is passionate about helping and supporting his community at any means. “I want to make sure people that look like me have a fair chance,” Smiff stated.
When it comes to advice for aspiring artists, Smiff would tell them to remember “You can do everything yourself.” He acknowledges this advice because over the years, Smiff has done many things from marketing his brand to booking his own shows. As an artist, Smiff expresses you should solely figure out one piece to the puzzle at a time, then before you know it, your puzzle is complete. “Whatever you think is impossible, it’s possible,” Smiff stated.
Read more about Smiff with a closer look below.
Looking back, what has been your worst job to date and why?
I don’t think I ever had an awful job, but I’m going to say all of them. I’m not trying to work for no one else.
What songs do you currently have on replay?
“Racks in the Middle” by Nipsey Hussle featuring Roddy Rich and “Down below” by Roddy Rich. I’ve been listening to those songs on heavy as well as older albums such as “The Gifted” by Wale.
If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep, I would figure out ways to get more money because I’m trying to get paid!
If you can hang out with any celebrity dead or alive for a full day, who would it be and why?
Cliche, but I would hang out with Nipsey Hussle. Nipsey slogan was “F the middle man,” from that I’ve learned to do it yourself and go straight to the source. I would talk to him for guidance with my career and any advice he can give over a good meal then, hit the studio.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Genius, powerful, and relatable.
Say you're at home and a natural disaster is coming, you have to evacuate immediately what 5 items are you taking?
Frank my dog, phone, laptop, wallet, and a bag of photos and memories.
Magnified Topic of the Week: SMIFF “To Whom It May Concern” Album
Smiff’s “To Whom It May Concern” is a 30-minute album consisting of nine songs with features from Rahim Malik and Fitit. Across the project, each song spews out authentic realness and exceptional lyricism from Smiff’s personal experiences. In all, To Whom It May Concern is a musical letter with a magnified look into who Smiff is and what makes him, him. Be sure to tune into Smiff’s favorite “P.S.” and watch/listen to fan favorite “These Three Words” below!
Written by Dejah Moné