D Smoke explains resisting the pressure to create another Grammy-nominated album

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Rapper D Smoke has seen a massive amount of success since winning Netflix’s competition series Rhythm + Flow in 2019. After wowing judges — Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. — he released his Black Habits debut, which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album last year.

As he prepares his sophomore album, D Smoke says he doesn’t feel pressure to release another Grammy-nominated project.

“The only pressure is the pressure to dig deep and go back into yourself and create something that’s honest…dope and…new,” he tells ABC Audio. “So that’s the only pressure, but that pressure is immense enough, because [my team and I] plan on and take pride in being different.”

The Inglewood, California, artist says his forthcoming album somewhat reflects his recent single “I’m Alive,” featuring rising singer Asia Fuqua. The song is featured in Infinite, a new film from director Antoine Fuqua, who is Asia’s father.

“‘I’m Alive’ is in some ways…similar to what we’re putting out. I wouldn’t say sonically, but in the sense that it’s one of those concepts that challenged me to dig deep and talk about something that’s conceptual,” D Smoke explains. “The movie is very conceptual, abstract, and beautiful in that way. So I always try to approach my life and the stories I want to tell in the music as somewhat of a movie.”

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