I had the amazing chance to talk to American hip-hop artist Super Smack over Zoom recently. We talked about his history with music, any musical influences, and his dream collaboration with another hip-hop artist, Mega Ran, on the track “Black X Gold”. Check out the song below while finding out the meaning behind this very content-heavy song. And what does Super Smack hope that listeners listen for while listening to the tune.
Who Is Super Smack?
Super Smack is a Filipino-American Hip-hop artist from Phoenix, Arizona. Music has always been a part of his life as his family is filled with singers, dancers, and entertainers. But, he only started to write his own music when he was 16. At that time, he was involved with musical theatre, especially with the production In the Heights as Super Smack was a hip hop dancer. While in the production, he met Daveed Diggs and talked about the raps he wrote. The actor took him under his wing by inviting him to join a songwriting workshop for rap called the #BARS Program. From then, Super Smack fell in love with writing and performing his original raps.
The hip-hop artist has been called “The Nintendo Switch of Rappers”. It is because of the joy that his music brings, the happy energy present in his music. “Nintendo, for me, always makes me happy,” he commented, “When I first started to write music, I was listening to the music of Jay-Z and Nas. And I noticed that they wrote about the neighborhood they grew up in with their early works. And that is very important. to write about the places you grew up in.
For me, I bounced around a couple of suburban places that I grew up in. So, I don’t have a strong connection with the homes I grew up in. But, what I have is a strong connection to the imaginative world of Nintendo video games. That is my hometown.”
The artist said that people have told him that his music is a mixture of Outcast and Lin-Manuel Miranda. With Outcast, it is really fun, energizing music. But, if you stop and listen to what they are saying, they are saying some content-heavy material. It has the accessibility of pop music, but they are so respected by the hip-hop community because of the content they put in their song. For Lin-Manuel Miranda., the story-telling, the wordplays, and creating narratives.
Super Smack also mentioned that he has gotten inspiration from Janelle Monae. She has a big imagination, working in various themes like sci-fi and gender into her music that is ahead of its time.
Behind the Scenes of “Black X Gold”
“Black X Gold” is a collaboration track with friend Mega Ran, the king of nerdy raps. Super Smack was a big fan of his works at first. Their connection grew with Super Smack opening for Mega Ran at 2019 Brooklyn Comic-Con. During the pandemic, Super Smack went back to his hometown of Phoenix, where Mega Ran is also from. When they were grabbing lunch one day, the two artists talked about the injustices happening with Black Americans and Asian Americans. However, no one was talking about how they intertwined and this was a chance to bring solidarity. They wanted to talk about this heavy topic in an uplifting, positive way. That’s how “Black x Gold” was born!
The production of the instrumental track came from a producer named based Glory Boulevard in Wales. When Super Smack first heard the track, he instantly fell in love with it and licensed it immediately. Megan Ran and Super Smack came up with the lyrics and recorded the rap at a physical studio, of course following all safety measures as they recorded during these times But, for Super Smack, it was a totally special moment to get collaborate with an artist that he really respected in person.
What Super Smack hopes is that listeners will dance to his music but also think about the themes or topics presented in the lyrics. “If they are listening to the music and grooving to it, but then think “These lyrics are thought-provoking! That is my biggest goal as a musician. And my bonus wish is for listeners to listen to the vocal production. I work with a lot of amazing music producers and engineers, and I am so proud of these masters. Most people don’t really listen to that. But I hope people do notice those little things and the quality of the masters.”
Make sure to check out “Black X Gold” down below. Let me know what you think!
Super Smack recently released a new EP called Neon Blue. It is an EP that is inspired by video games, but the vibe is lo-fi chill. The release has a chance to be a little more introspective of Super Smack’s life. He is a little bit more vulnerable in his life with such topics as bullying, heartbreak, and loss. It is deeper than the artist’s first EP. Even though the lyrics’ content is sad, the music is pretty.
Make sure to check out Super Smack at the following: