St. Louis’ artist Smino has come through with a new single by the name of “I Deserve” featuring NOS, complete with a music video that reinforces the sentiment of the song and depicts familiar scenes of South City life. “I Deserve” presents itself as an anthem of self growth that doesn’t ignore the struggles of the past, present or future, an image brought to life right away by the centerpiece opening line “My stove lit my blunt 4me this mornin’…. oooh don’t get me started…”. Smino’s performance is cool and collected without losing any of the sentimental weight of the themes, bouncing and bopping in infectious melody atop a soft piano beat filled with humanity and depth.
The video left me floored. Images of South City streets and homes depicted with such vibrancy are bound to stir the emotional pot for anyone that’s ever lived here. The signature bricks around these parts shine bright throughout the duration. The narrative follows Smino (who also directed the video) under threat of eviction. In this position he goes around the neighborhood passing out flyers for a rent party: An opportunity to rely on your community, thrive within it and acknowledge the importance of your social context in your own self growth. The scenes of the rent party are particularly touching: The comfort of the wooden frames in the house, the warmth of a dance party inside an emptied out living room, and the sharing of wealth and success all come together impressively to tie the knot; it honestly brought a tear to my eye. It’s a story that pulls at your heart as if to say that growth is impossible without the community surrounding you.
Follow Smino on Instagram here.
The music video for “I Deserve” is presented in loving memory of Jason Slater aka Pooh Man
Watch the music video for “I Deserve” below: