Image from daily.bandcamp.com
Trill music is steadily being affixed into Rap’s pervasive fabric all over the internet and the media. The genre isn’t stampeding through the winds by any means. Since the days of Three 6 Mafia, it crept beneath the earth, popping its head out once in a while.
Now that Rap music birthed unfathomable forms of its own foundation, Trill music, or Memphis Rap, has a light shining on its fixture.
Those helping to shine the light are some of the likes of Richmond’s Lil Ugly Mane, Raider Klan’s SpaceGhostPurrp, and the young and bravado producer, DJ Smokey.
In 2013, twenty-one-year-old DJ Smokey released his first full instrumental compilation, Evil Wayz. The album received attention from varying Trill-heads and the adamant Memphis unity.
Image from djsmokey.bandcamp.com
Evil Wayz’ sound held such an odd seam in between the textures of the old Memphis and Houston mixtapes but extended their appendages to survive in the bustling and animated modern world.
Witnessed from the impetus of fans, DJ Smokey consistently released a new project year after year. Within the same year, DJ Smokey released Evil Wayz Vol. 2, Kush Alienz, Codeine Demonz, and Mystic Wayz.
From there on out, DJ Smokey knew that his calling was enraptured within the platform of the internet. A year after, Smoked Out Dance Party was released, followed by Choppin’ Out Da Forest in 2015, and so on.
Image from genius.com
What pivots his character amongst the herd of Memphis students is his ability to stay exciting and fresh even with his slumberless consistency. Each of his albums ranges from ten to twenty or more tracks on average. Although, each of his instrumentals independently breathes their own life and shed their own fiber from their respective woven cloth.
Memphis Rap has never been expanded to its own boundaries before DJ Smokey came into the scene. His instrumentals do something that relates to the Memphis head but also attracts the likes of video game and pop culture addicts.
His recent albums, such as Kirby Rubiez and Squirtle Sapphires make references to the animated livelihood of the respective track titles with vivid bounces and quirky samples.
His beats share no shade of malevolence such as how Three 6 did with their earliest attributions. DJ Smokey takes his art light-heartedly, sharing the prevailing thought of creating beats as “having fun” or “exalting expressionism.”
In tracks such as I Carry a Pak from Kirby Rubiez, he uses the synthetic noises that make up the Memphis Rap formula, while working around the core of pristine vocal samples from television commercials.
Video uploaded by Da Phonk (YouTube)
As I Carry a Pak showcases joviality, one of my other favorites, Enter Da Treehouse Pt. 1 from his Choppin’ Out Da Forest album, warps his animated sound into sedating vibrations.
Video uploaded by MYSTIC PIMP (YouTube)
There are sounds of whirlwind instruments, obscure advertisements, and hackneyed sound clips that caress the otherwise booming Trap noises.
Now that virtually anyone with some instruments and assumed technical aptitude could go out there and release their own musical content, the saturation advances the need for uniqueness. The likes of DJ Smokey pays respect to one of the musical themes of the underground while supplementing them with abstract colors.
DJ Smokey seems to be continuing to release content. Regardless of how much music he has under his name, he never seems to go stale. For that, DJ Smokey is and will be one of the more talented producers in the twenty-first century.