Charlotte, North Carolina, rapper Tae Smooth likens himself a citizen of the world — having traveled every continent except Antarctica. He’s also a veteran having served in Afghanistan. His globe-trotting has peppered his work with a unique worldwide flair. A humorous story is that he credits a trip to Thailand with the instilling in him the confidence to create music.
“A local shopkeeper asked me if I was a rap star,” he says with a laugh. Not one to shy away, Tae played along and laid down a quick 16 bars to a receptive crowd. That’s when he knew music was his calling.
His debut, Smooth Way Out, is an amalgamation of Tae’s life thus far — from the streets to the battlefields of Afghanistan. The LP’s message is distinct: the smooth way out of a [particular] situation may not be the easiest one; but, it’s an effective one. “There are two ways to get your voice heard, it’s about music and politics, and I’ve always stuck by that,” said Smooth. “Everything is art. Your expressions are your art, and mine happens to be my voice.”
Check out the latest visual for “Payback,” the project’s first single, below.