Coupled with the internationally-acclaimed work lead producer SmokeyGotBeatz has been harvesting with Hit-Boy, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar over the last year and half, SWIDT have got their hands firmly clasped around the steering wheel right now. It's Smokey, SPYCC, INF, Boomer-Tha-GOD, JAMAL and AZA's choice where we cruise next.
On May 13, SWIDT released their debut album SmokeyGotBeatz Presents SWIDT vs EVERYBODY through their own independent label recorded at Red Bull Studios Auckland. Showcasing the crew's skills as rappers, singers and producers, and featuring appearances from US rap royalty Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Audio Push, Isaiah Rashad, Ganxsta Ridd, King Lil G, MC Eiht, Blaison Maven, Hit-Boy, Bushwick Bill and New Zealand's own Aaradhna and David Dallas, it's a concise, atmospheric record that suggests the feeling of Onehunga and the West Coast coming together as one.
In this visual drop, we look back to SmokeyGotBeatz’ humble beginnings growing up, visiting his musical influences and tight collaborations leading up to his debut album release.
“We were all invested in this music, but we needed to take that next step,” says SPYCC. “With the murderation of what Smokey has been doing, his influence helped push us to the next level. It all came into focus when he came back from Los Angeles. He almost came back as a different person. He had different perspectives and ideas about the level of work we needed to be putting in.
“With his influence from over there - telling us how they worked - he made us feel like we needed to match that, or be better. That guidance was weird in a way because he's the youngest in the crew. It was the little homie telling the O.G.'s what to do. But he had seen it in person and been in the studio with YG, Xzibit, Jay Rock and that, so of course he was going to come back like, 'Man, we can do this shit, but we have to put in more work'.”