Los Angeles, CA

When the 2021 Grammy Awards nominations were revealed Tuesday (November 24), it was a moment D Smoke had been waiting to exhale.

D Smoke told Billboard he remained humble until he could happily scream in reaction to seeing his album Black Habits and his name in the Best Rap Album and Best New Artist categories.

“I’ve trained myself to not look too far into things until they materialize,” D Smoke said. “I figured if I didn’t raise my expectations too much then there’s no real disappointment to experience. But in doing so, once the news came I was through the roof. Literally, my voice is tired today from all the yelling I’ve been doing.”

D Smoke has reached a monumental peak in his career since 2019 when his Netflix series Rhythm & Flow — co-hosted by Cardi B, Chance The Rapper and T.I. show — won multiple honors including the network’s hip-hop competition series and HipHopDXTV Show of the Year.

The 35-year-old lyricist’s second album Black Habits, which features artists such as Jill Scott, SiR, and Ari Lennox, was released in February and reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart. Also, the visual for the LP’s Snoop Dogg-assisted track “Gaspar Yanga” surpassed 10 million YouTube views.

D Smoke expressed much gratitude to The Doggfather for his guest appearance on the album.

“I had to re-celebrate over and over again, because that project is such a collective body of work from the producers I collaborated with to the features,” D Smoke added. “I had to get on the phone with Snoop Dogg and thank him for doing that feature that just put us in front of so many people.”

He also mentioned that T.I. and John Legend showed him love for receiving his Grammy nominations.

Win or lose, the Inglewood native acknowledges the Grammy nods as a great experience being placed in this year’s elite for the music industry’s most prestigious night.

“It’s a beautiful moment to have, regardless of what the outcome is,” D Smoke stated. “It put me in the conversation of those considered for the highest honor in music. I naturally feel a great deal of responsibility to make music that one: confirms that people selected correctly, and two: continues to inspire, entertain and uplift people. But whatever happens that night, I’m proud, primarily because of the company I’m among.”

The 63rd Grammy Awards show will air live from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on CBS, January 31.

You can listen to Black Habits below.