Rapper D Smoke takes patient walk to Grammy recognition

D Smoke talks about the pressure of finding success outside "Rhythm + Flow," how being a teacher matured his lyrics and his thoughts on why Grammy voters nominated him and other 35-and-up rappers in the best rap album category. (Jan. 26)

Video Transcript

- Zorro, turn that music down.

D SMOKE: Yeah-yeah, yeah. Yeah-yeah, yeah.

I always tell people there's no expiration date on realness. People need incredible art. So any time that you spend kind of pursuing whatever level of success you see yourself achieving, it's time to get better. Always be getting better, you know? And so it didn't matter if I got it when I was 40-years-old, it was just going to be that season.

This Grammy nomination is big. You know, it opens up a conversation for what our culture needs and wants. You know, I think all of the crazy things that happened this year are really sobering, and then I think people require, at this moment more than ever, music that speaks to them at a deeper level.

(RAPPING) Black Pride. Black Lives. Everything.

I was a teacher who, you know, got to know my students. You know, because you can't really reach nobody if you're not concerned about who they actually are. And it's an exchange, right? So I would ask them, like, what are you listening to? You know, what-- put be up on what's going on, right?

And some of it I'd hate. Some of it I'd be-- like, I'd be surprised, like, oh that's dope, you know what I'm saying? And I didn't know. But, you know, in that exchange you learn how music affects people.