Dropping a series of impressive EP’s the last few years, burgeoning lyricist, 12:03 was focused on creating his debut album in 2020. With a handful of notable producers offering the rising rhymer beats, and a reliable and talented group of willing collaborators (Ariel Ashe, Marvelredsox, Johnny B) on standby, the anticipation for another 12:03 project was high. In fact, anticipation was so high that the young rapper dropped Smile in lieu.
Released June 26th, Smile is a serendipitous, summer-ready collection of songs that display the best of 12:03; enlightening lyricism, lush, yet gritty soundscapes, and a healthy dose of guest talent. Despite the fact that this EP was created out of sheer spontaneity, 12:03’s rich storytelling and versatility shine throughout the 7 track project.
“Instead of trying to focus on a sound, I’m just gonna let it flow out. Hopefully, it’s great,” 12:03 mentioned.
Songs like “Smile”, “3 Kings” and “Mos High” exhibit the rapper’s expansive wordplay and introspective view on life. Memorable lyrics like “I water my thoughts and drinking water from the mountains/ Rushmore of the music, I’m wavy just like Poseidon” (“Mos High”) or “I tell you happiness my only thesis/different shades of this gray got me shining bright in every season” (“Smile”) satisfies the rap purists, but 12:03 can easily shift to light-hearted, joyful rhymes. Tracks like “Yellow,” “Smell The Roses,” and “Lever Du Soleil” are upbeat and empowering. Including an exciting mix of production values from heavy center strings, to cosmic background vocals, 12:03’s Smile is gradual and pleasant.
Known for his significant poetic style and affiliation with the rising Hip-Hop collective, Low-Class Aristocrats, be sure to tap in with 12:03 as his profile ascends.
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