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Songs We Love: Miloh Smith, 'Baby Miloh Two'

Miloh Smith.
Courtesy of the artist
Miloh Smith.

<em>Baby Miloh Two</em>
/ Courtesy of the artist
/
Courtesy of the artist
Baby Miloh Two

The past few years, it's been more and more common to hear R&B artists straddling the line between singing and rapping — Tink, Bryson Tiller, Tory Lanez, and Ty Dolla $ign, to name just a few. Atlanta's Miloh Smith is a welcome addition to that list.

We first heard Smith dabbling in the shallow waters of rap and swimming in the depths of hard R&B on 2013's Suite 404 (and again on 2014's Pulp Fiction). The very last song of Suite 404 was called "Baby Miloh," and functioned as a straight-up rap outro. Its sequel, "Baby Miloh Two," is the lead single of Smith's upcoming EP Deer, and a bonafide feature presentation of where she's progressed since. (It's also the first new music from Smith since 2015's heady "Pretty Dirty," featuring OG Maco.)

With production handled by Canadian rapper-producer Rich Kidd, "Baby Miloh Two" explores some sonic extremes, structurally changing almost every few seconds but always keeping its propulsive energy intact. Interwoven digitized sounds constantly drive forward Smith's general message of "You couldn't touch me on your best day," which she delivers with a hard-edged playfulness.

Atlanta's forward-thinking creative spirit flows through Smith — vocally, she is light years away from where "Baby Miloh" left off. Here, she experiments freely with different inflections and enunciations, never using the same style of delivery twice. There's no consistent hook, so much as moments of pause allowing her to recharge and attack the track again from a different angle. And when the song tapers off, Smith is telling listeners that she is worthy of their time — she is certainly not asking them for it.

Miloh Smith's Deer EP is out in early June on KEAIP Music.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Kiana Fitzgerald is a freelance music journalist, cultural critic, and DJ. She writes for the world from deep in the heart of Texas.
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