Rapper D Smoke showcased his dense flow and conscious lyrics on his Grammy-nominated debut album, Black Habits. He tells ABC Audio that it was essential for fans to learn about his personal story and his perspective growing up in Inglewood, California.
“I think it’s really important to share with the world, like, who the artist is,” D Smoke says. “I always treated Black Habits like my debut album, even though I been making music for years. I’ve put out music [for] a long time. But this was going to be available to a large part of the world.”
He continues, “I thought it was really important that people go back and learn about my history [and] my family history, because my family has everything to do with why I am the artist that I am.”
D Smoke, who is 35, comes from a talented family of musicians: His mother, Jackie Gouché, plays piano and is a professional singer, while his brother, singer and producer SiR, is signed to Kendrick Lamar‘s label, Top Dawg Entertainment. D Smoke also won an ASCAP award for co-writing Jaheim‘s 2007 song “Never” with his brother, Davion Farris, and he mentions his oldest brother Ron-Ron on the Black Habits track “Bullies.”
“My family’s connection to music goes back many generations from before my grandmother. But what I’ve witnessed begins with my grandmother,” he says. “She started playing piano in church and singing in church…singing that Aretha-esque music. And then, of course, my mom and my uncles. They all wrote music and sang harmonies together and performed together doing gospel.”
D Smoke says it’s a “blessing” to build a “collective bond” with his family, where “multiple voices are singing and playing different instruments.”
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