On Friday the 13th, 2020, Oakland-based duo Smoakland introduced the world to Speakerbox Thuggin’, a boisterous mix series that offers the duo’s unique take on bass music featuring tracks from friends, collaborators, and their own discography.
Two years, 6 mixes, 1 EP, and 1 album later, the boys have hardly slowed down and are now on their 5th rendition of the Speakerbox series – arguably their hardest hitting yet. This time, with tons of IDs, remixes, one insane VIP, and even a Frank Sinatra edit that’ll knock your top hat off.
Can I Get That ID?
While the mix includes 8 mind-buzzing Smoakland IDs, all of them unique in their own way, the unnamed Ravenscoon collaboration that starts at 5:17 is, without a doubt, our favorite ID on the mix. The track demonstrates Smoakland’s keen ability to pair D&B builds with gut-twisting and at times unexpected bass drops. Add in Ravenscoon’s unique thumbprint and the song becomes straight carnage.
If you’ve been to a recent Smoakland show, whether it was on Liquid Stranger’s Balance tour or their own headlining Method to Madness tour with SuperAve, chances are you’ve heard this track played out.
Video credits: 1. Tom Slesinger via Secondhand Smoakers 2. @smoakland IG
‘I Wanna Be Down’ VIP
Another crowd favorite that Smoakland often plays out at shows is their remix of Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down,” an explosive edit that pairs beautiful vocals and heartfelt lyrics, with hot, nasty basslines. Again, this is a track that incorporates D&B builds with lower BPM bass drops in such a way that only Smoakland can procure.
What’s different this time is the boys decided to add a little misdirection in the form of a VIP edit. It’s one of those songs that tricks crowds by having a build that drops into another build, offering audiences that zest of surprise that comes with unexpected remixes, especially when it’s played live.
Zeds Dead Baby
Over the past year, Smoakland started playing out a remix of Zeds Dead’s all-time classic, “Journey of a Lifetime,” that left audiences flabbergasted and oftentimes foaming from the mouth from the number of jaws it dropped.
The 12-year-old song is adored by music fans everywhere and was almost one of those tracks that was too scary too touch. That is until Smoakland gave it the treatment. This past January, Zeds Dead ended up dropping the remix at their show at Echostage in DC which only confirmed the widespread appeal of the track and introduced Smoakland to an even wider audience.
Smoak Me to the Moon
The last song of the mix is also the golden nugget on Speakerbox Thuggin V, featuring a crushing yet classy remix of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” with WiZ0. The pair continue to prove their devotion to high-quality vocals and we love every bit of it. The grace and beauty of singers like Frank Sinatra or Brandy paired with those dirty, nasty Smoakland drops is the perfect combination of grit and glamour.
While the Sinatra remix and the songs mentioned before it are some of our favorite selections, the mix is premier from start to finish. One thing we would be remiss if we didn’t mention was the Henry Hill, “All my life I’ve wanted to be a gangster,” quote from Goodfellas to start the mix off. It’s interesting how the mix both starts and ends with characters from the 1950s who were true OGs. It doesn’t get more thuggin’ than that.
As Smoakland prepares for a busy festival season, we look forward to hearing more of their flavored mixes in addition to some of these highly anticipated IDs.
Keep up with everything the duo has going on in the links below.