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Tim Smooth, pioneering and influential New Orleans rapper, has passed away

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 27, 2011 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Tim SmoothPioneering New Orleans rapper Tim Smooth died yesterday (Tuesday 26th 2011) at the young age of 39, after a long battle with cancer.


Though not a household name outside of New Orleans and circles of New Orleans Rap fans, he was one of the undisputed pioneers in the city's scene. Like a hip-hop Zelig he seemed to exist in the eye of the city's musical storm, never to break out nationally but always respected by musicians around him. In a violent era that saw many of New Orleans' musical talents cut down at a young age, Smooth collaborated freely and frequently with members of warring camps, always appreciated and always relevant. It was with especially cruel irony that Smooth, a rapper gifted with both lyrics and flow, was felled by cancer of the mouth and tongue.

Tim Smooth was born Timothy Smoot west if New Orleans in the Kennedy Heights area of Waggaman, on the West Bank in Jefferson Parish. He took the title “the Knight from Kennedy Heights.” and began

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Mobo Records - West Bank's Finest

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 15, 2009 06:05pm | Post a Comment
Mobo Joe Records Label
In the old days (the '80s), most New Orleans rap was released by labels from outside the state. Dallas's Yo! had handled Gregory D & Mannie Fresh and Tim Smooth. Ft. Lauderdale's famous bass label, 4 Sight, released Ninja Crew's "We Destroy." Juvenile was initially on New York's Warlock. When majors got involved, they invariably mis-handled the artists. Gregory D & Mannie Fresh moved to RCA; Warren Mayes and pioneering west bank rapper MC Thick signed to Atlantic.

All that changed following the bounce explosion of 1991. New Orleans's long established Soulin' Records finally got into the rap game, releasing DJ Jimi's debut single, the bounce classic "(The Original) Where Dey At?" Seemingly overnight, a number of cottage industry labels sprang up, including Big Boy, Cash Money, Parkway Pumpin, Slaughterhouse, Take Fo' and Untouchable. None of them except Cash Money lasted into the new millenium. But for a time, they collectively produced and recorded some of the most overlooked and greatest rap of the decade and routinely outsold nationally-promoted rappers of the day, helping turn the tide toward the south.