Soon after the (very successful) release of Smino's much anticipated debut offering, blkswn, the St. Louis native embarked on the Swanita Tour. The tour was just as successful seeing as it stood on the immaculate foundation of the funky, eclectic album from which it derived the name. Among plenty of accolades, Hustlegrade also wrote about the greatness that is blkswn.
The Swanita tour kicked off in Chicago in late April and touched every major area of the U.S. and made a stop in Canada before wrapping up in Smino's hometown of St. Louis. Houston landed almost directly in the middle of the tour just before Smino and crew headed to the west coast for even more sold-out shows.
As amazing as Houston is, this city is notorious for historically terrible concert goers, don't debate me. On Mother's Day 2017, Smino as well as his Zero Fatigue affiliates (Monte Booker, Jay2, Bari Allen and Jean Deaux) made a stop at The Bronze Peacock as part of The Swanita Tour. All of the aforementioned artists and most importantly Smino put on a show that kept everyone in attendance in awe. (And personally impressed the hell out of me.) What sometimes turns into a room of aloof 20 somethings on their phones transformed to what was more reminiscent of praise and worship, thanks to Smino.
After performances from Jay2 and Jean Deaux, Smino took the stage clad in a Gucci headscarf and the whitest Forces outside of a Nike box. Forces that matched the tiny kicks adorning ha set of crutches that have been an addition to his stage attire since a crowd-surfing moment went awry at the beginning of the Swanita Tour. If anyone was wondering, the crutches didn't slow Smino down one bit. From "blkswn" and "Wild Irish Roses" to "Netflix & Dusse", Smino never missed a step or lost the crowd, even for a second.
At one point, Smino mentioned how he had yet to see any big rims in Houston to which a fan replied "GO TO THE SOUTHSIDE" and it made my heart smile. When asked if they purchased blkswn, the crowd once again cheered relentlessly just before Smino challenged them to prove it and broke into "Anita". Everyone in attendance proceeded to croon along with Smino for the entirety of the song so, I guess we proved it, no? With a cover of T-Pain's "Chopped and Screwed", an endless amount of good energy and an unmatched level of talent, Smino began closing out the show. Alongside Bari Allen with the audience as hypemen, shining their cellphones on to the stage, Smino performed "Amphetamine", which is possibly one of the best songs of 2017, and once again I was left in awe of the reception and participation the crowd gave to Smino and his crew.
All of this being said, there is a shift in energy that has become increasingly apparent, Smino's Houston stop of the Swanita Tour was yet another affirmation of that. Concert goers who barely knew or were completely unfamiliar with Smino left as fans. Fans who went to the show alone left with new found friends. Great music is fulfilling it's purpose in our world and we are thankful to witness it. Smino is one of many artists that has made waves and secured a consistently growing, unwavering fanbase without the traditional "major label" support and bankroll - a fact that should be a beacon of light for other artists in similar positions.
It must be mentioned that the accompaniment from Smino's Zero Fatigue crew was essential and everyone should take some time to check out all of their music (links can be found to each artist, above). If you have yet to hear Smino's blkswn, go get it. If you missed the show, make sure you keep up with him so you don't miss the next one!
Special thanks to Rory for giving us the chance to cover this amazing show.
Even more special thanks to Jarele Taylor who provided us all of these super dope shots from the show. Follow Jarele and reach out to him for booking info.