St. Louis musician Smino has entered a new era of his career. The Hip-Hop talent has inked a new deal with Motown Records in partnership with his independent label and artist collective Zero Fatigue. Billboard reported the “Fenty Sex” rapper would be extending a previous relationship with Motown CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam and VP of A&R Lindsey Lanier. Smino was previously signed to Interscope Records. Both Motown Records and Interscope are owned by Universal Music Group.
“Smino is one of the most incredible artists in music. His limitless talent, creative vision, ambition, drive, and authenticity has prepared him for this new chapter,” said Habtemariam. “He is ready to compete at the highest levels and we are grateful to be on this journey with Smino and the Zero Fatigue/EQT team to bring his music and vision to the world.”
The 30-year-old artist issued his first single with Motown, “I Deserve” featuring NOS on Nov. 11 and followed up with a music video on Tuesday (Nov. 16). In the heartwarming visual, Smino comes together with his community to throw a rent party for a neighbor facing eviction.
“I wrote this song about my little cousin who was killed in St. Louis last summer. I realized I never gave myself time to grieve and get through the emotion of a loss,” he explained. “I found myself singing ‘I deserve it’ out loud till I cried and recorded it. Album No. 3 on the way, it’s all about love and how you can use/lose your heart in the process.”
Smino is co-managed by Chris Inumerable and Henny Yegezu of the L.A.-based management company and label EQT (Equative Thinking).
Watch the video for “I Deserve” below: