Smooth the Hustler's "Once Upon A Time In America" is one of my favorite albums from the 90's hip-hop era. I remember hearing "Broken Language", his second single featuring his brother Trigga being played on Hot 97, and how I would get hype and rap along, waving my hands in front of me like the emcees I admired.
Smooth was special because behind his typical NY drug and gun talk, his metaphors, concepts, pop references revealed a really bright dude. I think Grafh and Stat Quo also rep that same intelli-thug ethic. Hopefully their style will be the only thing like Smooth, and not their careers.
For all non-believers, here's the video for Broken Language:
If you wonder what Smooth and Trigga are up to now, the top hip-hop magazine did a "where are they now?" style feature on them last year.
And here's a more recent video from them: