Raised in the sweltering summers of Dallas, TX, breakout rapper SMILEZ is no stranger to the heat—hot temperatures and a childhood filled with equally intense ambitions gave him the raw goods that have made him such a gifted songwriter and performer. After loading up on punk influences and an appreciation for hip-hop storytelling, he found a scene ripe for his sizzle in the mellower yellows of LA’s sand and sun. His debut single, “Head Shoulders,” perfectly resembled his playfully irreverent style (exhibited visually in over-the-top all-yellow outfits) while resonating heavily with fans and fellow emcees alike. Booking a raucous European tour with generational figure 6ix9ine, the two became friends, and SMILEZ became the only independent artist featured amidst rap greats Nicki Minaj, Akon, and more on 6ix9ine’s 2020 album Tattletales. Since then, he’s casually graced stages worldwide with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Trippie Redd, Wiz Khalifa, and JuiceWRLD. With the recent release of his first full-length album Ur in My World, SMILEZ is claiming his powerful seat in the RAGE space.
Off of his debut album Ur in My World, SMILEZ’s “Coffee Queen” fuses the rapper’s affinity for punk and hip-hop. With hardcore punk power chords over a trap beat, SMILEZ shouts and ciphers out his longing for control in a nightmare relationship that keeps him painfully crawling back for more. Fierce and vulnerable as ever, he doesn’t hold back any of his contradictions or inconsistencies—it’s all on the table, pounding through our heads, erupting into inevitable head-banging, rageful glee.
Step deeper into the world of SMILEZ with the music video for “Coffee Queen.” As he exits a phone booth into a desert landscape, the opening shots of the flick embody the emotional distance and scarcity of SMILEZ’s relationship with his coffee queen. Throughout the video, we get clips of his queen, dressed in an equally vibrant orange to his ever-yellow glow—but somehow, she’s always evasive, alone, or dissolving away. Fortunately, we can rest assured that the same will not be true of SMILEZ—this raging yellow star is here to stay.