Smino Begins His ‘New Journey’ With The Nourishing ‘Rice & Gravy’

St. Louis rapper Smino is back with a new song, “Rice & Gravy,” which he calls the beginning of a new journey. Releasing the single with a minimum of fanfare, Smino seemed to reveal a change in his label situation with a tweet just before the new song’s release. “dawg I went thru so much bullsht tryna release music over da past couple years,” he wrote. “I’m jus happy af to begin my new journey tonite… I feel like a brand new artist rn.”

He may feel like a new artist, but “Rice & Gravy” is vintage Smino, with a glitchy, synth-and-bass beat produced by Monte Booker and a rubberband flow that springs between melodic and staccato cadences delivered in Smi’s signature, grits-thick St. Louis accent. Longtime fans will surely be satisfied with this recipe, and anyone who has been awaited a follow-up to Smino’s 2018 album Noir may be excited to learn that he’s once again in the driver’s seat of his own release schedule.

Despite whatever troubles he’s had in getting new music out, Smino has tried to stay busy, featuring on tracks from Thundercat (“Dragonball Durag Remix” with Guapdad 4000), and his recently discovered cousin Denzel Curry (“So.Incredible.Pkg” with Kenny Beats and Robert Glasper), working with his Zoink Gang compatriots Buddy, Guapdad, and JID, and dropping the surprise quarantine tape She Already Decided.

Listen to Smino’s “Rice & Gravy” above.