“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the hustle lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,’” Jeremiah 29:11. The lord of the hustle graces and grants his presence on Redemption, the 2018 release coming from underground commander Black Smurf.
The name known to your favorite rapper’s rapper, Black Smurf is iconic in his performance that feels sleepy, drug-fueled, and aided by a sense of ownership behind his vocals. Deep down, there is a gorgeous sense of style to Redemption, but this beauty must be looked for as the surface level is often an ugly, but overpowering beast of burden.
“Sorry I Warned U” is the opening exchange that begins with subtle glances before having Black Smurf grip the listener in a tenacious and brutish display. “Wake up to a check like sorry I’m winning, but I don’t pay these hoes shit, not even attention,” describes Smurf under an array of mafia moves where Redemption is a collection of hitmen, 12-tracks deep and ready to strike. Production from Eremsy shines through multiple times on Redemption and Black Smurf is able to keep a right-hand man by his side that delivers a variety of spice behind the instrumentation.
With “Self Management”, a cut from producer 830, Black Smurf is able to stumble upon the somber track with confidence but seems reminiscent or reflective with his work. The guitar strings that play solemnly behind are soft, but somehow approachable which is a new angle to Redemption. Instead of the constant action and blitzing ability from Smurf, “Self Management” holds a contemplative weight over the listener before rolling up the metaphorical windows that hide Black Smurf behind a darkened, five-percent tint.
His window rolls down, bearing an automatic weapon on “Wild Card”, one of the stronger displays on Redemption that brings the hustle god mantra to the foreground. As the dusk creeps into frame resembling hi-hat clicks and a chiming chord structure, Smurf is on the prowl. Like a rabid animal, the 808’s begin to pulverize and crunch as he opens the lyrical mosh-pit. “He hang on me cause I’m young, boss, and rich. Don’t know why so mad I’m just living life and shit. Why she staring at me, I’m like a god and shit. But money over models, no I don’t want some bitch,” he explains before relocating back to the shadows.
And those shadows are indeed comforting as Redemption falls to the 26-minute mark, the final moments of a powerhouse of crushing proportion. Not only is Black Smurf one of the gods of the underground, but he can transport the listener to a cult-like trap house that pumps out more hits and heat than a furnace in the summer time.