SmartBlackKid Enlightens with “Intelligent Blues” The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol 2 Inspires through Hip Hop

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SmartBlackKid

SmartBlackKid

Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter SmartBlackKid is back with a new single titled “Intelligent Blues” from his latest album release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 2’. From the first chord executed by this genuine one-man band, it becomes quickly evident that SmartBlackKid is on another level of artistry.

No stranger to eclectic fusions, SmartBlackKid unleashes a fury of thought-provoking lyrics over a dark and gritty beat. “Intelligent Blues” is reminiscent to the lyrical stylings of Wu-Tang Clan’s own GZA. SmartBlackKid delivers relevant bars in a laid-back manner while exploring deep lyrical content that stimulates the mind. Unfortunately, this experience is all too rare in mainstream music so “Intelligent Blues” is a grand escape from the mundane.

Check out our Feature on ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol 1’

SmartBlackKid is unapologetic in his incorporation of relevant themes into his latest release which make this particular project most timely in every sense of the word. A fitting title for a forward-thinking single is just one of the ironies introduced on “Intelligent Blues”. SmartBlackKid is clearly a revolutionary musician who not only uses his artistic prowess to make great sounding music, but also uses his creativity as a vessel by which to educate and enlighten a wide-reaching audience.

“Intelligent Blues” is one of those songs that simply makes you dig a little deeper, think a little bit more about the world around you. The single is an experience that is worth having regardless of age and gender because SmartBlackKid taps into nuances that almost anyone can relate to.

Listen to SmartBlackKid “Intelligent Blues”

Hakhi Alakhun, who goes by the moniker SmartBlackKid embarked on a journey to release a 10 album series, a proliferation of materials written and recorded over the course of a decade. SmartBlackKid is a self-taught musician, singer-songwriter, guitarist, bassist and drummer. He once performed as the lead guitarist with the live hip hop band The Lo Frequency before undertaking his solo projects. Learn more about SmartBlackKid and stay woke by visiting his official website www.smartblackkid.rocks.

Connect with SmartBlackKid Music. Follow the links below!

Follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/smartblackkid

Follow on Instagram www.instagram.com/smartblackkid

Visit www.smartblackkid.rocks

A.R.T. LIVE Presents Frederick Your guide to a cool summer street look

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Often when one thinks of hip hop you think of New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta Chicago, New Orleans, etc. Rarely does Florida come immediately to mind unless mentioned. Though the state does boast several notable rappers such as Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, Trina, Plies, T – Pain, and Dj Khaled to name a few. Often times the Miami party scene over shadows the musical talent that lies in the state. This truth is what inspires South Florida music artists like Frederick. The 24 year-old YG, SUPER affiliated hip hop artist hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida is on a mission to break through the spring break, South Beach, and strip club facade that hangs over the Miami music scene.

Frederick got his start later on in his life. He began to take music more seriously when he was 21 years old. This occurred from being around friends who were older than him and that inspired him to express his true self musically. They also pushed Frederick to create his own unique sound. This sound has stuck with him and molded him into the artist he is today.

Though Frederick’s initial start came from outside influencers his motivation for his craft stems from inside. It comes from the idea of introducing a different sound to the city, the amount of fun he has performing music to different crowds and being creative with friends is everything to him. These factors not only drive his motivation but they fuel the creation of his music. It is also the reasoning behind the aspirations he has for himself over the course of his career.

When asked in depth about his ultimate career goals Frederick had this to say, “I have many career goals, but one of them would be to meet Kendrick Lamar! I love him so much! Another career goal is to open the door for other artists from South Florida so that we can prove to other people that we can actually make amazing music as well.” To end the stigmas so often associated with his native music scene could easily be viewed as a daunting task but it’s one Frederick gladly accepts.

Over his career Frederick has had to face several obstacles but with every trouble came a triumph. One of the worst experiences he’s encountered was when he was at a show and a person (who shall remain nameless) told him that his music sucks and that it’ll never make it anywhere. That really got to Frederick for a while. Yet in the same situation came Frederick’s best experience which was performing his music on stage for the first time and looking at the nay-sayer’s shocked reaction once he saw that the people in the crowd fell in love with Frederick’s music. It’s times like these that made the quote “keep on runnin’.” a saying Frederick has come to live by.

Frederick can be followed on Instagram @Fredericktheegreat and on Soundcloud here: https://m.soundcloud.com/fredericktheegreat  Check out some shots of him performing live at A.R.T. LIVE: Soul Night on this post and check out A.R.T. LIVE here.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Artist SmartBlackKid BTS Discussion with SmartBlackKid

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SmartBlackKid Interview

SmartBlackKid Interview

 

Fun Facts:

One thing I can’t leave home without….

Gemstones. I carry gemstones with me every single day.

What is on my iPod right now…. 

I don’t have an iPod, but my iPhone right now? Is playing Bad Like Jesse James by John Lee Hooker.

The last album I bought was…

Can’t tell you the last time I actually bought an album.

When it comes to music, I dream of…

Genie. Kidding. When it comes to music, I see colors swirling around

to match the sound. I see the vibration of the world rising with the right music.

 

Inside the Music with Hakhi Alakhun, SmartBlackKid

We recently checked in with Brooklyn musician, singer, and songwriter Hakhi Alakun to find out the scoop on his newest album release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’. Check out the deets below!

Your album seems like a huge project, What moved you to release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1’ ?

I gave myself no time to do any promotion when I released an album per month in 2012.  I literally would drop an album, rest for the first week of the new month; and by rest, I mean, gathering the songs, music, pre-production. 2nd week was recording. 3rd week was mixing and 4th week was mastering, packaging and release. When it was all finished? I couldn’t believe myself. But still no one except my immediate fan base from social media knew what I was doing. I knew back then that the next album would be the “Best Of” as a way to draw attention to catalog and actually promote the music.

Can you tell us about some of your music influences and what impact they have had on your style today?

My first real musical influence was Maurice White from Earth, Wind & Fire. My mom shoved one of their albums in my face when I was 5 and she asked me to read the lyrics and pay attention to the words. I did the same thing with Sly and the Family Stone, sitting and reading the lyrics. Then Prince happened to the world and his music helped me discover my voice as a singer. I have a pretty low baritone most times and can’t sing those high tenor songs. Prince had a baritone and a falsetto and by singing his music, I discovered I had the same thing. The energy and spirit of my music is heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix. Lyrically and creatively he seemed to always be reaching for new realities, new ways to hear sound, new ways to play guitar. I try to have that approach to making my own music, to not limit myself to hip hop or r&b just because I’m a black dude. But to really explore.

When did you discover that music was your passion?

I discovered music was my passion at 9yrs old. I asked my mom for piano lessons and she said we couldn’t afford them at the time.  Instead she bought me a Casio keyboard  which I took and sat with my boombox and taught myself how to play my favorite songs. I worked at this everyday with no motivation, and no encouragement. I just needed to know how to express myself with this instrument. I was in love with it and I couldn’t really stop until I developed some level of fluidity.

Everyday after school, I would hold these concerts in my room for about 2hrs, then I would have dinner and do my homework and be a normal kid.

It seems like your music is not just about music but there are some serious messages there, can you give us some insight into what that is all about?

I spent about 10 years of my life in the NYC underground poetry scene and from there I attended an unofficial “school of performing arts” so to speak. I was apart of a large community of artists ( writers, actors, dancers, photographers, musicians, poets, etc. etc) who performed regularly at various venues in the City. The standard was high and the expectation was excellence. I was a spoken word artist who always had a message about self-empowerment through the mind and through spirituality so a lot of my old writing habits from those days are still with me. I feel that writing song lyrics is a serious art and I have a lot to express but I have to be brief in a song. My time as a poet trained me, so to speak, to write about serious issues and themes in a way that is clear and simple. Plus, there’s no one really doing that right now. Bob Marley to me was the greatest example of music with messages done in a very wise and proverbial way. I’m reaching for that standard in my songwriting.

Do you feel that other artists need to be putting out more meaningful music content? If so, why?

Yes. Absolutely. There is a song for everything, every moment, every feeling, every circumstance that a human being can go through on Earth. But for some reason, today’s music only speaks to a few aspects of human life: social status, financial status and sexuality.  It’s a very limited means of self-expression against the backdrop of this very complicated world we live in. I personally need art to help me make sense of the world, and to hear the truth be affirmed. Music is bigger than money and fame; it’s a language of motivation , of love, of community, of society and I want to be counted among the musicians who wrote about more than myself. There are 13 and 14 year olds out there who are big thinkers just like I was as a kid. I want my music to be present for them.  If our world was a plant, and music was the water feeding this plant, it’s a plant that is wilting pretty bad I feel. I don’t feel the love, the insight, the wisdom, the motivation, the affirmation from a lot of today’s music. I hear a lot of the same themes in variation and repetition. Meanwhile, I’m over here trying to eat organic and not consume too many GMOs, I’m thinking about my right to privacy in the surveillance age, I’m talking about coming to terms with my shadows and my own dark side so that I’m not projecting it on others. I want to personally hear music about these things. So I write it.

If there were 3 words you could use to describe ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1”, what would they be?

Creative, Intelligent and Visionary.

The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1What is your most favorite track on the album so far?

Ohhhhh that is so hard. That’s like asking which finger is your favorite. Hmm.

I would say the song I’m most proud of is Labyrinths Within. I say that because it was inspired by a book

I read on shamanism. Most songs about people target another person as the antagonist, the cheating partner, someone didn’t love you enough, someone hurt you etc. etc. I wanted to write a song about what’s  really going on inside of people. What if your biggest enemy is really yourself? Your ego? We are often projecting what we dislike about ourselves unto others. We blame others for situations we create with our various levels of self-esteem. We are often looking for people to love us in place of not really loving ourselves. The song deals with that and in particular, betrayal , which is something a lot of people can relate to. I really like how I was able to capture a complex idea and turn it into what I feel is a funky, danceable, groove. That was cool. I also like Sell, Sell, Sell because it’s daring to say what people wouldn’t really dare say on a record. Today’s music sucks. Every song is favorite, really.

Your album is available in multiple media outlets, how has the response been from your fans thus far?

As an indie artist in control of my own business, I think the response has been really good but can also be better. Since I don’t have a major machine behind me, every move forward is a success.

If there were at least one takeaway for new listeners just tuning into SBK, what do you hope that one thing will be?

That real music played with real instruments with intelligent lyrics is very very very cool and worth owning and listening to regularly.

So, you do your own instrumentals, vocals, production, have your own label and publishing capabilities. Is there anything that you do not do?

There are instruments I can’t play, notes I can’t sing, and guitar riffs I’m still learning how to play. I have my limitations but I end up attacking them when I get ready. I also don’t eat GMO foods.  I don’t watch TV and I don’t believe everything I see and hear. 

If there were aspiring artists out there looking to follow a similar route in production and distribution, is there any advice that you would offer them?

Make sure you copyright your work twice. You need to own the sound recording AND the composition. Never take advice from amateurs and people who are NOT artists. Create time and space for self-care. Artists like to brag about how long they worked in the studio last night, or how hard they worked on this or that. But speaking for myself? I need to schedule some time at a spa and get a massage; and sit in a hot sauna to get my mind, body and spirit in the right balance.  Always create the conditions that inspire the best of your creativity.

When you are not in the studio or touring, where can your fans find you?

Wandering the streets of New York collecting ideas for songs. Or at a burlesque show being inspired the feminine form.

Your album just came out and is gaining traction, what’s next?

Next is releasing the video for Free Thought which will happen as soon as the planet Mercury comes out of retrograde. Then I will release a series of SBK videos to offer visual elements for the music. Also, be on the lookout for the SmartBlackKid Show which will be a series on YouTube later this fall.

Any parting words for our music-starved readers?

Visit smartblackkid.rocks and support an artist who actually cares about you-the music lover.

Check out our latest Music Review of ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1

The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1 A Mutli-dimensional Rock Perspective Rock Fusions: A Look at SmartBlackKid’s Latest Album Release

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SmartBlackKid

SmartBlackKidBrooklyn-based rock musician, singer, songwriter, and producer Hakhi Alakhun’s latest album release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ is a multi-faceted journey through the organic roots of rock to the modern day. Delivering a captivating performance, SmartBlackKid introduces a series of potent numbers consisting of moving tunes, inspiring lyrics, and distinct artistry. If the world is finally in need of something fresh, different, completely original, then SmartBlackKid is poised to deliver and be received with open arms. While ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ stands in a class by itself, Alakhun extends a wide reach, touching a vast audience with relevant lyrical content.

Although the album commands its presence as a rock compilation, eclectic music fans will take delight in the variety of genres that have been fused together to create a truly profound listening experience. To engage in the style of SmartBlackKid, all that is required is an open mind and a ferocious appetite for meaningful content that strikes a chord with the mind and spirit. The artistic collective morphs from intense driving numbers to soft mellow performances while capturing a myriad of emotions and expressing varied energy. As we dive into the sounds of ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’, we will highlight some of the most memorable moments to watch out for throughout the albums stunning execution.

Inside the Album: The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1

The album opens up with “Stand Up”, an instant hook, line, and sinker number that teases listeners with a smooth introduction but then quickly revs up into an intense series of gritty guitar chords. A hypnotizing bass line kicks along the background of the score while SBK shreds out complicated riffs and saturates the track with highly-infectious vocals.

“Free Thought”, a single that was recently released from the album, is an upbeat number with a catching chorus and feel-good rhythms. Embedded within the track are powerful lyrics that awaken the mind. “Free Thought” is more than just a fun song; it carries a resounding message that will hit very close to home. Check out our BTS Look at “Free Thought”.

Another inspiring track on the album that fans will gravitate toward is “Powerful”, an uplifting number that is reminiscent to 90s alternative rock. SBK gives a righteous performance as he sings “born to be powerful”. SmartBlackKid is clearly an artist whose music is developed to transcend time.

Listeners will notice a change  in pace and style on the track “Labyrinths Within”, a groovy number that fuses rock and nuances of R&B. SBK delivers a Prince meets Lenny Kravitz production with an edgy twist. “Labyrinths Within” introduces a unique fusion of sultry instrumentals and soul-stirring lyrics.

“Shadow’s Way” draws attention immediately with its deep bluesy feel. SBK gives a remarkable vocal and musical performance on this clean production with wide appeal. “Shadow’s Way” has a cinematic energy that would make it an epic soundtrack for a blockbuster film’s climax.

The intricacies of rock’s evolution are most evident on “Talk About You”. SBK gives a raw performance, contrasting dark and haunting vocals with complex instrumentals. Lingering guitar riffs mirror the intensity of the lyrics as they shred out angry chords, the bass looming in the background. “Talk About You” has a noticeably darker ambiance than the previous tracks and still complements the full package.

Following the extreme performance on “Talk About You”, SmartBlackKid turns it down a scale on “Chill”, a mellow production with gentle rhythms and earnest lyrics. “Chill” sends off gentle melodies and warm waves as SBK gives a suave vocal performance.

“honestly, I just wanted to hear more guitar. I want to make some noise already.”-SmartBlackKid

SBK brings the musical landscape to life one again on “Are You Alive” a melodic number with dreamy instrumentals and inspirational songwriting. SBK really speaks to his audience with a powerful message, asking “are you alive?”. The song is robust with intricate layers and a guitar performance reminiscent to one of the greats, Santana.

“Live Again” is a dynamic number with driving rock instrumentation. SBK’s vocals are virtually flawless and of course listeners are treated to rich lyrical content. “Live Again” is a truly uplifting experience that speaks to the experience of those desperately in need of reinvention.

SBK further demonstrates his eclectic style on “Solar Flare”, a high-octane track with a rebellious energy. “Solar Flare” mashes up some of the most pronounced elements in rock and fuses them with a modern industrial sound. Dramatic chords and unconventional layers make this an unforgettable experience.

The energy remains on overdrive on “Sell, Sell, Sell”, where SmartBlackKid chronicles his relationship with music while revealing a hidden truth. SBK gives an unapologetic performance with brazen realism.

SBK delivers a strong performance on “Gimme Love”, an enjoyable number filtered with retro vibrations and edgy guitar riffs. The track is entertaining, outside-of-the box, and infectious.

“Deserve”, though consisting of music complexities, provides a seamless performance with effortless vocals and steady beats. This production gives way to relatable lyrics as SBK sings, “I deserve r-e-s-p-e-c-t”. When he sings, “you did not enter this life to live with fear”, it becomes clear that SBK has a message for the masses and it definitely needs to be heard.

SBK tells a remarkable story on “Take Your Power”, a full number with a moving social and political commentary. When SBK belts, “it’s time to take your power back”, listeners become aware that there is much more to ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ than what is witnessed at first glance.

The album begins to wind down with “Enough is Enough”, an instrumental number punctuated by heavy vibrations, and shredding guitar riffs. The production offers its fair share of chills as it digs deep into the embodiment of rock music with dramatic chords and emotive waves.

“These are the ways”, is a revolutionary sounding production that sheds light on matters of the heart. SBK gives a refreshing performance that renews the imagination. The song fuses together dream-pop elements, ambient layers, and picturesque melodies to deliver a fascinating display of ingenuity.

The album concludes with “Persevere”, a motivational track with a positive message for anyone needing a boost. Journeying through the many challenges faced by individuals who walk the earth, SBK has some significant words of encouragement to keep it pushing. “Persevere” is a strong finish to a noteworthy performance.

‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ is a much needed escape from the madness that surrounds us. Giving rock new meaning, SmartBlackKid innovates a fresh style that is conspicuously unmatched. While the album delivers compelling sound, it sends off messages that are equally as awe-inspiring. SBK gives fans the best of both worlds: good music and purposeful content.

SmartBlackKid_itunes

‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ is the 11th album release for SBK otherwise known as Hakhi Alakhun, singer, songwriter, musician, and producer. The NY-based released the album on September 13th, introducing himself to his newest army of fans. Hakhi’s previous 10 albums were released between April 2012 and January 2013 when he dropped one album per month. The album releases marked Alakhun’s 10-year long career in music which included private production work and serving as a lead guitarist for bands such as Lo Frequency and Bullyfoot Massive.

‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ was an enormous undertaking, a feat that many aspiring artists have yet to accomplish. Hakhi did not wait for success to come his way, he took it. The musician performed lead and background vocals on his album, played all the instruments, and produced the project on his own inside of his very own SBK Studios. Hakhi also has his own imprint 4PJMusic Group from which he published his music.

About his music content Alakhun says, “I’m daring to sing about what’s really on my mind, the future of society and our world. I can’t be the only one who cares about that”. Earlier this year, SBK released the single “Free Thought”, a social commentary about the right to privacy in the digital age.

The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1Hakhi got his start in music early at the age of 9. He wrote and composed his own work and later performed as a backup singer for local artists and was the lead vocalist for the jazz-funk band Copasetic where he performed at venues such as Nells. In 1998 he performed background vocals on Dennis Edward and The Weather Girls’ “Don’t Look Any Further”. After adventures as a spoken word artist in NY’s underground and a self-taught guitarist, Hakhi started his own band in 2001 called Synai along with Sayo Ogundiran. The band released ‘As Is’, an EP that had been compared to work done by Ani DiFranco and legend Prince.

Hakhi later joined Lo Frequency as the lead guitarist and traveled as a music educator around the world.  After traveling to places such as Beirut, Manama, and San Jose, Honduras, Hakhi performed before the UN General Assembly in 2012. He ventured out on his own taking the time to release one album per month, driven to create inspiring music. Hakhi says, “honestly, I just wanted to hear more guitar. I want to make some noise already.” Alakhun’s latest release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ features songs from 5 of his albums. The album is currently available on iTunes, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Amazon Music, Google Play, SimfyAfrica, Tidal, Verve Life, Guvera, Juke, Rhapsody, eMusic, Target Music, Xbox Music, and many more digital stores. Learn more about SmartBlackKid by visiting the Official Website at www.smartblackkid.rocks.

Check Out our Exclusive Interview with SmartBlackKid

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SmartBlackKid “Free Thought” Modern Rock Innovation SmartBlackKid Single “Free Thought” Delivers Unconventional Wisdom

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SBKImage1

SBKImage1Sure, we have all heard of one-man-bands before but, we have never heard anything that sounds like the latest single from Brooklyn musician SmartBlackKid. His latest release “Free Thought” from his album ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1, is a powerful blend of modern rock sounds, alternative energy, and classic rock overtones. If cookie-cutter sounds are what you fancy, then exit stage right because SmartBlackKid is delivering anything but the standard. For an invigorating adventure outside of the norm and into the unconventional, immerse yourself into the sounds SmartBlackKid on “FreeThought”, now streaming on Bandcamp.

Listen to SmartBlackKid “FreeThought” Now

“Free Thought” originally made its appearance on SmartBlackKid’s debut album release ‘Change Reaction’. The artist describes the song as a “social commentary on maintaining rights to privacy and freedom in the digital age”.  The song delivers a fierce production complete with addicting instrumentals and captivating lyrics. The New York-based rocker and multi-instrumentalist seems to channel the spirit of Jimi Hendrix and the influence of Led Zeppelin as he shreds out possessing riffs and extraordinary chords. SmartBlackKid however, demonstrates his own commanding presence, giving an authoritative performance that will most certainly go unmatched.

All too often music consumers are encouraged to go with the flow, embrace sounds that conform to social constructs, whether we like them or not. And, if we don’t like them, they are played over and over again until inevitably we end up singing along to a meaningless tune with a catchy beat. SmartBlackKid shares a different experience with listeners, one that encompasses a fusion of past and present, and one that is rich with creativity and innovation.

“You are a powerplant. An energy company. An energy source. You supply power to everything in your reality…”

-Hakhi Alakhun

 

Based in Brooklyn, NY SmartBlackKid is a creative rock endeavor belonging to musician, singer, songwriter, and producer Hakhi Alakhun. The artist is a self-taught musician who took up the keyboard at age 9. He began writing and composing music and later performed as a backup singer during the 90s for groups such as Copasetic. As a diverse artist, Hakhi performed backup vocals for Dennis Edward and the Weather Girls 1998 track ‘Don’t Look Any Further’. He later taught himself to play the guitar after circling the underground scene as a spoken word artist. Teaming up with Sayo Ogundiran, Hakhi formed the band Synai and released the EP ‘AS IS’ which critics compared to work by Ani DiFranco and Prince.

Hakhi brings over 10 years of experience to the industry having worked in private music production and as a leading guitarist for the bands Lo Frequency and Bullyfoot Massive. His adventures took him to Beirut, Lebanon, Manama, Bahrain, San Jose, and Honduras where he participated in cultural exchanges, educating and teaching music. Before leaving the band, Hakhi played before the UN General Assembly in 2012.

“Free Thought” is the first single from SmartBlackKid’s album ‘The Best of SmatBlackKid Vol. 1’ which was released on September 13th. The compilation album is available at over 30 different music stores including iTunes and Apple Music. Through the popular music site Bandcamp, Hakhi Alakhun has released 10 different albums, releasing one album per month between April of 2012 and January 2013.

Hakhi’s latest project consists of a true to life one-man-band. The artist performs both lead and background vocals, plays every instrument, and produced the entire album himself at his very own SBK Studios. If that isn’t enough, Hakhi Alakhun has established his own imprint 4PJMusic Group through which his music is published. About his work, Hakhi says, “Im daring to sing about what’s really on my mind, the future of society and our world. I can’t be the only one who cares about that.” Learn more about SmartBlackKid by visiting the official website at www.smartblackkid.rocks

Connect with SmartBlackKid Music

Follow on Twitter

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Visit www.smartblackkid.rocks