Artists to Watch: D Smoke

Artists to Watch: D Smoke
Whether he’s getting ready to spar in the ring or perform on stage, D Smoke gets in the zone and shuts out the world with Ultimate Ears.


Grammy-nominated rapper and undefeated boxer D Smoke is a wordsmith at the mic—and a fighter in the ring.
When Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. crowned D Smoke the winner of Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow in 2019, they and the hip-hop community fell in love with his clever flow and intricate wordplay. The win set the stage for the release of his second studio album, Black Habits, which was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards alongside Nas, Freddie Gibbs and Jay Electronica.
But his big break didn’t happen overnight. D Smoke’s career started in the mid-2000s with WoodWorks, a record label and songwriting collective he formed with members of his family, including his brothers and cousin Tiffany Gouché. WoodWorks found success early on, earning writing credits on songs written by well-known artists including Ginuwine and The Pussycat Dolls. 
WoodWorks’ songwriting success is just a glimpse of his family’s musical history—and the roots run deeper than the thump of a Roland TR-808.
Before he made his way to the big stage, D Smoke grew up watching his family heroes build successful music careers of their own. While his mother, Jackie Gouché, was singing backup vocals for the greats—like Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight and Tina Turner—his uncle was playing bass for artists like Prince and Chaka Khan, the latter of whom he served as musical director for six years. 

D Smoke embraced his family’s musical legacy, just like his brother SiR. They grew up together in Inglewood, California, sharing a roof and an unbreakable bond with music that changed their lives forever.


D Smoke says his passion for boxing and music have one thing in common: you have to find your own beat.
“Boxing and music both have a lot to do with rhythm,” says D Smoke. “When you're sparring somebody, if they can start to anticipate your rhythm, then they can beat you. And in music, innovating and creating new patterns in music is the name of the game.”
His experience in the ring also taught him how to conquer his energy on stage. And with Ultimate Ears custom in-ear monitors, he can focus on his sound and shut out the noise. “Going into sparring is very similar to going on stage, because at this moment all your nerves, they want to betray you,” D Smoke tells us. “Ultimate Ears custom in-ear monitors, they put me in the zone man. I can't afford to be not tuned in, I need to be fully present. I use Ultimate Ears to hone in and get ready. And then once I do, there's nothing I can't do.”


“When I’m on stage, my Ultimate Ears Custom in-ear monitors put me right in the middle of the song,” says D Smoke.
“There’s nothing but the mix I have, and it’s so clear. I can even hear the crowd in the mix because the clarity is just that strong. So to hear the track, to hear my voice crips, to hear the crowd; there’s nothing like it. It just turns me up. It gives me all the energy to go out there and leave it on the stage.”
Are you ready to leave it all on the stage like D Smoke? Get your own Ultimate Ears Custom in-ear monitors shaped to you, and experience unrivaled sound, comfort and passive noise isolation.
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