Audio: Smoko Ono – “Winners” ft. Yxng Bane, Chance The Rapper & Joey Purp
The Chicago-Based Sound Architect Shares a Upbeat, Yet Laid-Back New Single With Some Hometown Associates and a Smooth-Voiced Londoner
Single artwork by Nikko Washington
“The song is a great little banger, stripped-down and catchy, with a synth riff that reminds me of some of the best club-rap of the early-’00s.” – Stereogum
“Smoko Ono is responsible for a lot of the beats coming out of Chicago in recent years.” – Complex
A major figure in the Chicago scene, Smoko Ono crafts instrumentals that manage to sound futuristic even while radiating organic warmth. His new song “Winners” is a sterling example and expansion of his style, combining soft synths with syncopated, Afrobeats-influenced percussion. “Winners” boasts a propulsive hook from Yxng Bane, a British rapper of Congolese and Angolan descent, who leans into the percussion with a smoothly rhythmic flow. Smoko rolls out the red carpet for two Chicago hometown heroes–Joey Purp and Chance The Rapper. Joey slides into the track’s deep pocket, delivering his flexes and ending each bar with a melodic lilt, while Chance comes through with his trademark energy, and pledges to take care of his family in a tongue-twisting verse: “Do this for my mamma, and my daughtas and my kin/More specifically my father and my brother and my wifie and my auntie Carolyn/I used to give a f*ck, I used to care about opinions/Then I took back all my f*cks and started taking care of them.”
“Winners” is Smoko Ono’s second star-studded new single of the year, following “You Are” ft. Corinne Bailey Rae & UMI, which released in May. A song about loving someone with the totality of your being, “You Are” is drenched in reverb, offering ringing guitars–played by multi-Platinum artist Daniel Caesar–and sumptuous bass perfectly suited for headphone listening. “You Are” earned praise from Billboard, UPROXX, Earmilk, and more. Both featuring cover art from Nikko Washington, “Winners” and “You Are” are available to stream via Payday Records, and will both appear on Smoko’s upcoming debut solo album, due to release in Q1 2022.
A frequent collaborator with the likes of Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa, Smoko Ono has a sterling reputation in Chicago and beyond for his production prowess. He’s produced tracks featuring some of music’s biggest stars, including Kanye West, DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Ty Dolla $ign, Cordae, and many more. Earlier this year, Smoko produced “All Pride Aside,” a song by Shelley fka DRAM featuring Summer Walker. The prolific producer is hard at work on his star-studded upcoming album, which will be his first album since the critically acclaimed Very Slight, a collaborative project with Chicago rapper KAMI that generated over 12 million streams across platforms.
Stay tuned for much more from Smoko Ono in the coming weeks and months.
Buy/Stream “Winners” ft. Yxng Bane, Chance The Rapper & Joey Purp: https://ffm.to/winners
Smoko Ono Background
Smoko Ono’s production is an integral part of the sound of contemporary Chicago hip hop. A long-time collaborator of Chance the Rapper, Smoko had four placements on Chance’s debut album The Big Day including the off-cycle single “I Might Need Security,” and “Hot Shower” Ft DaBaby and MadeinTYO. As one of Vic Mensa’s main producers, Smoko produced tracks including “U Mad ft. Kanye West, “Liquor Locker ft. Ty Dolla Sign and “Feel That,” and produced on “Broke As F*ck” on YBN Cordae’s Grammy nominated album The Lost Boy. Smoko has upcoming releases with Quavo, Corinne Bailey Rae, SG Lewis, UMI and more.
In 2018 Smoko released his collaborative album Very Slight with KAMI, which featured verses from Chance the Rapper, Joey Purp, and Valee, the project has received over 12M streams in the US alone. Smoko’s commercial work includes a Nike Super Bowl commercial, Puma, Tao, and has DJ’d Complexcon, Soho House, Poppy, The Marquee, and events like Kehlani’s after party. Additionally, Smoko has produced songs for Megan Thee Stallion, Denzel Curry, Yung Bans, YNW Melly, and is working with Francis and the Lights, Yxng Bane, Lil Yachty, Shelley fka DRAM, and more.
Payday Records Background
The iconic record label Payday Records announced their relaunch November 2017 with the release of “Our Streets,” the first ever collaborative single from DJ Premier and A$AP Ferg. Created in 1992, Payday Records helped to launch the careers of some of the biggest and most influential names in hip-hop, including Jay-Z, Yasiin Bey f.k.a Mos
“Winners” ft. Yxng Bane, Chance The Rapper & Joey Purp: https://ffm.to/winners
“You Are” ft. Corinne Bailey Rae & UMI: https://ffm.to/y0u-are