Say whatever you will about hip-hop, but if one truly is uneducated enough to say that hip-hop has no emotional value, you’re tripping. It may not be expressed the way you want it to, however that doesn’t take away, the years upon years of emotional expression hip-hop has provided. With Nevada artist Rick Smooth, Smooth isn’t shy with his influence, under everything you may believe you’re hearing on this record, there’s plenty of emotional pain to go around.
Rick Smooth’s “Driving Nowhere” starts with the somewhat jarring “It’s All Good”, Smooth sounds like he’s on the brink of giving up. Giving up on the people around him, his friends, his family, but most dangerously, giving up on himself. Hell, the second track on the album “What Have I Become” starts with the lines “I know my main girl hates, cuz the scratches on back, well they don’t belong to her”. If you heard this on the radio, it’d be easy to let slip by, with Smooth though, it’s different. As you progress through the project, it’s hard to tell if Smooth is the villain or the victim of this cold world or both. “No Keys” brings the story together and has you sympathizing with our anti-hero here.
The production fits the lyricism like a glove, it’s ambient and spacey, what threw me off sometimes though is the abundant use of autotune on the project. It works with the production, but I found myself getting pulled out of the experience trying to figure out what Smooth is saying sometimes. “No Keys” had the near perfect mix of his actual voice versus autotune.
“Driving Nowhere” is Smooth’s magnum opus, the blunted production mostly handled BeatsCraze sets the mood for Smooth to vent. Smooth is relatable in his music, hop into the rabbit hole of “Driving Nowhere” below and let me know what you think of the project.