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Bremerton, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Bremerton, Washington, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Hip Hop Hip Hop




"Smiley-D – “Truth Spoken, Joy vs Sorrow”"

Smiley-D – “Truth Spoken, Joy vs Sorrow”
Released: 08/15/2011
Reviewed by: WyldBill
Rating: 7.2 (Out of 10)


Darrell Thomas, also known as Smiley-D, is from Oklahoma City, OK. This is the city known for The Oklahoma City bombing. Smiley-D premieres his first album as a Christian rapper titled “Truth Spoken: Joy vs. Sorrow.” This album refers to Smiley-D giving his testimony throughout this album of where God brought him from and what he is learning in his new relationship with Christ. The album features collaborations from some lesser known artists N.O. City, Big Blam, Savion, Sha Sha Jones, & Buggsy Brown and Apocalyptic of Exodus Movement and the music production was handled by Halo of Air Tight Productions, Al Purp, Mr. Sylk, Yung Boss, & K.T. The Majorway.

As I started listening to Smiley-D’s album, the first track I encountered was Realer than Real. It sounds just like Lupe Fiasco’s “I’m Beaming”. I was waiting for Lupe to close the song out but then I realized that I was listening to the dopeness of Smiley-D. I’m silly, lol. Next up is the track titled, I Wonder. This record reminds me of an old school southwest rap track. There’s some real knowledge on this track. “I feel brand new like the page you refreshing.” The track Keep It 100 is a banger but I think he should have kept the intro beat through the whole song and should have had a fast hi-hat and a clap or something. The track is “tight” though. So Sobering popped up and it reminded me of the dirty south music I used to listen to in high school and junior college around the years of ’99 to ‘02. I listened to rap acts like: Beelow, Yungstar (T.Y.P.), Young Bleed, Hot Boys, No Limit Soldiers, & Boosie, when he was with the Concentration Camp. This track is another track to listen for. I enjoyed it because it was like jumping into a time machine. If Christian rap was sounding like this in the early 2000’s, I would have hung up gangsta and street rap early. Number 6 brings Late Night. I like how he had a South meets North sound to it. So Sobering and Late Night sound like an autobiography of Smiley-D’s past. The happy sounding track Jeremiah Thomas is another page from Smiley’s life that he is trying to “white-out.” The record talks about how he caused his baby’s mother pain and his absence from his son’s life. I’m praying for you! Two tracks down, the track listing is a song called Fighting Demons. I like these lines from the song: “And now that I look back my life was disgusting/walking ’round pack guns /and thought I was a thug/”. It’s a typical gospel rapper type rhyme, but I like this more than the other types I’ve heard over the past years. The track Gospel Freestyle, which is a gospel freestyle, sounds like an exclusive cut from a mix-tape. The only thing missing is a DJ hollering and name dropping. Finally, Smiley-D signs off with Revelations. He really goes in on this one. This track is the most potent of all of the tracks subject wise. The key tracks on this album would be: the mid-west Realer than Real, the crunk Keep It 100, Change Things Up, the slab ready So Sobering and Gospel Freestyle. Good album! I salute you fam! - (Holy Culture) WyldBill

"Bremerton Rapper in Tune with Youth"

BREMERTON — The music video begins with a sweater-vested man in thick-rimmed black glasses and squeaky shoes strolling down Fourth Street, carrying a box of chocolates.

It is Bremerton resident Darrell Thomas, AKA rap artist Smiley-D, channeling his best Forrest Gump — because life is like a box of … well, you know.

He admits the character, crafted for the newest release off his latest record, “Worth Fighting For,” is not unlike his younger self.

“I was a nerd when I grew up,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know I was socially awkward. I got turned down a lot.”

That wear-it-on-your-sleeve humility isn’t just on display in his rapping but also his day job as director of outreach services for Coffee Oasis. His job is to connect with kids on the streets, in juvenile detention and in crisis.

“Probably what everyone has in common here is that there’s a hurt in their lives that has made them feel like they’re outsiders,” said Daniel Frederick, community development director for the faith-based organization. “They feel like no one is for them.”

Thomas, he said, is that advocate.

He recalls a time last summer when they were walking through Evergreen-Rotary Park and approached eight kids. Half of them Thomas already knew. He was quickly in a rap battle with one of them.

“Darrell connects with them like no other person I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Thomas, 27, also has his own story to relate.

A native Oklahoman, he moved to Bremerton when he was 12. He went back to his home state at 18, where he thought he had the best chance to get his rap career going.

There was drinking and there were drugs. He enjoyed a moderate success, even collaborating with prominent artists like Philthy Rich and Capone. But at a certain point he felt he was spinning his wheels. He also had a son, Jeremiah, in Bremerton whose life he wasn’t a part of.

A friend turned him onto the Bible. His pursuit of fame and fortune was immediately tempered by Ecclesiastes 5:15: “As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.”

He went from writing “street-oriented gangsta rap” to positive, faith-based songs. While he lost some supporters, he found a new happy medium.

“I started to see I could make good music without being too churchy,” he said.

He moved back to Bremerton a few years ago. Started to get back into his son’s life. And found a perfect fit at Coffee Oasis, where he felt he could make a difference.

He spends time in the schools, on the streets and even in juvenile detention. Jeff Allen, director of high-risk youth programs for the district that runs the juvenile detention facility school, said Thomas has been coming in to teach PE. He too was impressed with his ability to reach just about any teenager.

“He finds a way,” Allen said. “He’s soft-spoken but he treats them with respect. And during games, he’s out there playing with the kids.”

Almost a year ago, Thomas and a friend were talking about the movie “Forrest Gump” and that famous line, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Still producing his music, he found inspiration from the movie, and a $35 lease for a song to provide the beat. He worked with Jacob Hill, a Port Townsend videographer, to put together the video, which has more than 1,800 views in less than a week. It features Thomas walking Bremerton and Seattle in July, offering up those chocolates, until he finds a woman with long hair sitting at a bench at Fourth and Pacific.

He raps to her:

Cause I really, really better hurry

Go talk to her, and quit being scary

I believe that’s something’s necessary

especially being close to mid-February.

The official release of his album is Feb. 28, with a concert at Coffee Oasis with Seabeck singer-songwriter Afton Prater. - Josh Farley - Kitsap Sun


Smiley-D Truth Spoken "Joy vs Sorrow" 

Smiley-D Truth Spoken "Fresh Out Da Hood"

Smiley-D "Deep Thoughts & Revelations"

Smiley-D "Real Life Motives"

Smiley-D "Worth Fighting For"



Darrell Thomas also known as Smiley-D was born on March 9th 1988 in Oklahoma City, OK. When he was 12 years old he moved with his mother and sisters to Bremerton, WA, where he finished high school. Smiley-D started rapping at the age of 12 by recording on cassette tapes and freestyling at parties. He began pursuing his rap career at the age of 17 while being influenced by hip hop artists and the street life. He chose O.G. gang members and thugs as his role models and adopted the streets as his family and chose the street life as his way of living. At the age of 18 in the year 2006, Smiley-D moved back to Oklahoma City to take his rap career more serious and started hitting the streets hard with demos, flyers, and word of mouth. He started shooting music videos later in his career putting them on Youtube and World Star Hip Hop, linking up with artists such as Philthy Rich, T-Nutty, Stevie Joe, Sha Sha Jones, etc. He was under the management of Nuchie (manager of Mac Dre, Keak Da Sneak, Yuk Mouth, etc) in early 2011. This was the breaking point of Smiley-D's music career, seeing the consequences from the lifestyle he was living his life took a turn and he learned that the foundation of hip hop was to educate so he tweaked his message in his music and started doing good for the community. 

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