In the Spotlight: Smoov-E
Smoov-E is not for the easily offended. He is graphic and raps about young girls, drugs, and his lyrics are mostly about sex. If that bothers you then this is not for you.
I usually don’t go for music that is super derogatory. I usually would not contribute to a person who brags about his sexual conquests with younger girls. Smoov-E is one of the exceptions. The first Smoov-E song I heard was “Dreamgirl” and I decided after that song that I liked him. I can’t really say why. Maybe it’s because he is really musically talented or that he samples songs from all genres, or the fact that he can wear the hell out of a pair of overalls.
Eli Meltzer was born in Tennessee and at the age of four he moved to Sebastopol. He grew up listening to his parents records like the Talking Heads, The Lovin’ Spoonful and the Pretenders. Once he got to high school he was listening to Bay Area rap legends like Spice 1 and Too Short and was soon bugging his parents for a drum machine. His mother finally caved and got him one on the condition that he didn’t tell his father (Maybe if she would have known what he was gonna rap about she probably wouldn’t have bought it.). He was soon locked away in his room fully dedicated to music. He now has a huge collection of drum sequencers from modern to vintage.
His first, self-titled album features Andre Nickatina and X-Raided which helped him establish himself in the bay area rap scene. He then released five albums on R.E.A.L (Rap Entering Another Level) Records. During these years he was able to collaborate with artists like Dubee aka Sugawolf, Reek Daddy, and the Godfather of the Game, Mac Dre.
In 2007 he released Larry Dallas, one of my favorite Smoov-E albums. This is, I would say, the first official themed Smoov-E album. Larry Dallas is a Three’s Company themed album. Many albums after this are themed and are also very good but Larry Dallas is a good starting point if you’re trying to get into Smoov-E. There is great balance between comedy and rap where it’s funny but not ridiculous to where it overshadows the music. The album Larry Dallas is where Eli (Smoov-E) plays live piano and drums throughout the album.
On his next album, 2009’s Rusty Squeezebox in 2009 a spaghetti western themed album, Eli plays guitar and piano. He then went back to the synthesizers and drum machines and released Mr. Biscuits in 2010 and was able to work with Too Short and Brotha Lynch Hung. In 2011 Smoov-E signed with I-Khan and released an album as Eli titled One Popular Guy. On this album he plays guitar and has an early rock’n’roll sound. He even stopped in to Streetlight Records in Santa Cruz for a live performance. It was great as usual.
His most Recent album Breakdance is my second favorite Smoov-E album. He came to party with all the young ladies and bring back the music from the ’80s. Breakdance is an ’80s themed album that is more on the freestyle side of the 80’s which is totally up my alley. The titled track features the legendary Egyptian Lover. On this album he mentions Cyndi Lauper, Emilio Esteves, Charlie Sheen and even makes the bold statement that Bruce Springsteen is not the boss. This album is so good it only makes me look forward to his upcoming album Jessica Gets Jealous, his ’80s horror movie themed album to be released February 18th 2014.