Episodes 7 and 8 of Big Smo came to us as one big heaping helping of Smensational television! Episode 7 showed the inner workings of Smo casting his music video (for which his record label, Warner Music Nashville, provided him an unexpectedly hefty budget), while episode 8 showed the guys performing at their first casino gig … with Mama in tow!
Just to recap Big Smo on A&E TV is a real life series following country rapper, Big Smo, as he takes his unique style of music to new heights with the support of lifelong friends, loyal fans, and his beloved family. It is a behind the scenes look at Country Rapper, King of Hick Hop Big Smo’s family, music, and rise to stardom. His music is Country fried rock rap otherwise know as HICK HOP. It’s a sub-genre of Country Music with a twist of southern rock and roll delivered in a rap form.
Big Smo has a few nick names, the King of Hick Hop, King of the Country, Boss of the Stix, Hick Ross, Big Boss, The Big Smocephusbut call him what you want to call him, this is one of the first reality shows to come along in a long time where the star is authentic and I wouldn’t expect anything less from someone like Big Smo, who always tells it the way it is, especially through his music, and has a posse around him like manager Dan Nelson, singers Haden Carpenter and Alexander King as well as his beautiful other half Whitney, along with his Mama, children and kinfolk (the name he gives his fans).
Workin’ (you can watch the video below just click on the playlist)
In this episode, Smo meets with the VP of A&R at Warner to find out that he is being provided with a budget to create his music video for “Workin'” the first single off his album Kuntry Livin’. Feeling that this is his time to shine, Smo gets serious about making this his best video to date. Hearing that “the sky’s the limit,” Smo promises not to let Warner down. Smo meets with his boys at Slick’s BBQ to discuss the upcoming “Workin'” video and to break the news that they have a budget.
Even with a high-class budget, the guys decide they want to stay true to themselves and their roots and enlist the help of working class America in their music video; the same people who inspired the song. They visit with kinfoke in blue-collar jobs and ask them to participate in the creation of the video. This is exactly what kinfoke would come to expect from Big Smo — a levelheaded, down to earth man who respects the hardworking citizen and wants to showcase him/her!
Meanwhile, in the spirit of the blue collar working man theme of the first single, Big Smo uses this time in his life to teach his daughters valuable lessons about earning a dollar to spend a dollar. While Smo is willing to splurge on the three-ply toilet paper, he is not willing to hand the girls the Xbox they are begging for without them earning their keep! Encouraging Ameria and Lanica to become members of the working class, the girls hone in on their talents (which do NOT include twerking!) and discover they are capable of baking some pretty amazing cupcakes (or “smocakes”). So, with Whitney’s help, the girls take to the streets … literally … and attempt to sell their product. When Smo notices his girls struggling, he lends a hand, creates a flashy light-up sign, and takes them to the Nashville Farmers’ Market to increase their revenue. In the end, Smo rewards the girls’ hard work with the Xbox they wanted, but informs them they will still have to hand over their hard earned dough to contribute to the cause!
In this episode, Big Smo and the boys head to Mississippi for their first casino show. The show begins with Smo visiting Nashville’s own The Bobby Bones Show, showing him interviewing with the controversial DJ. Smo states that being on the show opened new doors for him, which potentially led to an invite to Tunica, Mississippi, aka the Vegas of the South.
In preparation for the trip, the guys discuss gambling and Alex’s lack of ability to gamble successfully. Let’s put it this way … after seeing this episode, I’m willing to bet my house, car, and all my other worldly possessions on anything that is the complete OPPOSITE of what Alex bets on! Also, to get ready for the trip to the casino, Big Smo gets together with Mama to do a little practice run with gambling. The two sit, play cards, and bet candy in lieu of money. During this mother/son date, Smo tells Mama she needs to get out of the house more and have some fun. After seeing her in her element — a BINGO game — Smo decides to invite Mama to join them in Tunica for some real gambling.
Once in Tunica, we learn something very important … again. Alex. Is. Terrible. At. Gambling. I am actually shocked he left the casino with the shirt on his back. Haden explains to Alex that gambling consists of “an ebb and flow” and he’s “all ebb. You’re giving everything away.” We also learn that Big Smo and his boys can play to any crowd at all, even one that is outside their norm. Luckily, Big Smo is better at gambling than Alex and he figured out how to win the affection of the casino goers, converting the chip-holding gamblers into cashing-in kinfoke! Mama also faired pretty well in Tunica, leaving with $360. Way to go, Mama! After her success in the Vegas of the South, Mama agreed to travel with Smo “maybe once a year.” Take what you can get, Smo! Know when to fold ’em!
— Jessica Northey (@JessicaNorthey) July 24, 2014
— A&E Network (@AETV) July 24, 2014
— Country Music Chat (@CMchatLIVE) July 24, 2014
— Haden Carpenter (@hadencarpenter) July 24, 2014
— Dan Nelson (@dannelson78) July 24, 2014
— Bob Gillan (@goblinlab) July 24, 2014
— Alexander King (@mrkingalexander) July 24, 2014
Check your local listings to catch Big Smo on A&E TV, or you can get it on demand right here.
“You can tell when something’s real,” says the man known simply as Big Smo. “You can tell when it’s true. And I think what’s made us successful and gotten us this far is that we’re just real people, down-home country folk who really love to make music. People see that.”
Word of mouth, charged by the Internet, meant Smo could count his YouTube views in the millions before he talked to a record label. Low-budget videos showcasing his 32-acre farm, which has been passed down for generations, is his home base HQ. Homegrown in Tennessee, the self-proclaimed Boss of the Stix seamlessly weaves his work and play, his lifestyle and music on that farm, as compellingly as he weaves country, rock and hip-hop together.
His loyal fans – who he affectionately calls his Kinfoke – had better get ready to share Big Smo with an even larger audience.
The reason begins with the release of his major-label debut (June 3 on Warner Bros. records), titled Kuntry Livin’, a 13-song look inside the mind and music of one of the world’s true originals. Followed by a debut of an A&E original series centered on the country rapper, and it’s obvious this larger-than-life Tennessean has entered new territory – with every bit of the edge that brought him here.
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