Like many other fans, I’ve been tuning into OVO Sound Radio every two weeks for nearly all of season 3, doing a second run through the mixes the day afterward when they’re posted to SoundCloud. Not only has this season put me onto countless gems, largely from some of the regional hip-hop heavyweights of the moment, but it’s also gifted fans with a few premieres of unreleased music. This week, in one of my favorite mixes to date, a Shlohmo remix of Pop Smoke’s “Shake The Room” was played. While the remix has been out there for a few months now via For Tha Summer Vol. XXX, the OVO Sound Radio version also included a verse from Toronto artist Smiley, who we’ve featured on our pages in the past.
Smiley is always a joy to listen to, mainly because of the humor and enthusiasm in his voice, easily recognizable by his strong Toronto accent and loads of Toronto slang. Smiley is a natural entertainer, but his “Shake The Room” verse took things in a bit of an unexpected direction, letting loose what has to be the most personal verse I’ve ever heard from Toronto’s own to date.
Following Smiley on social media, I’ve been watching the rising talent get his health together for some time now which has been a joy to watch. In his latest verse, Smiley opens up and puts this journey to wax, speaking on his unwavering dedication to his mother, a newfound sober lifestyle outside of Toronto, and more. The growth shown in this verse alone immediately struck me as a special moment, and I had to share it with our readers whether they’re familiar with Smiley or not. Below are some excerpts from the verse (not listed in order, these are different parts of the verse I enjoyed), although I highly encourage running through it a few times on your own.
My mom going to work every morning hurt me
She had to rush to the bus stop 5 AM in a hurry, shit
So now I want everything for her, I’ll do anything for her
Won’t put no girl over her, that’s some shit opp n***as do
Leave my name out your mix, Smiley not in the six
Smiley gone in the hills, Smiley done taking pills
Keep them bad thoughts from me, don’t even want that energy
I love my privacy at home, I left my Hennessy at home
I’m feeling high off of life, my therapy is the mic
And that’s the shit that excites me
Told my self I want it badly, had to push myself harder
Had to lose all this fat weight, now I think way smarter
I’m feeling good being sober, n***a thinking way older
I’ve also linked the OVO Sound Radio mix below. Shlohmo’s incredible “Shake The Room” remix begins at 33:40, but Smiley’s take on the song starts at 36:45. Regardless, I highly recommend sitting with this one and filling your playlist up with new gems. OVO Sound Radio is on an incredible run in season 3, and this personal moment for Smiley made me beyond happy as a fan.
Check out the mix below and much love and congratulations to Smiley for finding himself at this place. Especially in rap, so many great artists have been taken young, so it’s always special to see talented artists taking care of themselves and their families.