I wasn’t sure what to expect when I pressed play on D Smith’s XIII: Stories Never Told. His bio indicates the 22-year old hails from Joliet, IL (30 mins from Chicago) and has dedicated the past 2 and 1/2 years to this project. His main focus was to showcase his talent and set himself apart from his peers. We’re happy to say: Smith came through.
This 11-track jewel reveals authenticity, honesty, and hunger. It’s an impressive debut of maturity and vulnerability, especially for his age. Overall, the mixing could have used some work, but it wasn’t terrible. Also, the production was decent and well-selected. That, partnered with Smith’s beats, combines to mirror his personal style. As such, this is welcome contrast to the trend of young artists hoping that catchy production will make up for wack lyricism and style.
Smith’s lyrics offered versatility and personality which I enjoyed the most. Songs like “Dreamer”, “Glory”, “Can’t Go Back”, and “Stuntin” have the familiar feel of artists like Childish Gambino, Big Sean, Big K.R.I.T, and even Kanye. A Bar that caught my attention was “Wish I dreamin’, wish I was born in a whole nother era/ Cause my niggas ain’t safe, and these bitches ain’t straight, and the money I make won’t make it no better..”.
In closing, XIII’s only flaw was the absence of a theme. Don’t get me wrong, most of the tracks were dope. However, without something cohesive to tie all parts together I fear that the reception and relevance of Smith’s latest project may not reach its full potential to listeners. That being said, Stories Never Told is one of the best tapes I’ve heard recently. In my personal opinion, this kid will go places. If the right opportunity presents itself, I’m sure he could deliver numbers and make a name in today’s game. #StashIt
Article By: Daniel "Flash" Carter / Editor: "CoCo" / Media Credit: Twitter.com, Soundcloud.com