In the modern hip-hop and trap era, an artist like Ali Doukali is probably severely overlooked in hip-hop, when truthfully he has top tier flows and lyrics that put him above many of his peers. All through his song-list, Ali cements himself among the best, at creating hard-hitting, aggressive and catchy trap while telling vivid stories in the process. This legacy is continued on his latest single, “Smooth” as the listener is dragged down the deep well that is the rapper’s psyche, making for one of the grittiest tracks of the year. Recorded at ID Labs in Pittsburgh “Smooth” is Ali’s first professionally produced song from top to bottom, after only a year of being in the business.

“My latest project that is set to release is really a story about betrayal from some of my closest friends,” explains Ali Duokali. “Trust takes years to build, but seconds to break, this track is a direct depiction of the viciousness and hate I’ve faced from friends I’ve called “brothers.”

The song make use of a bouncy, bass-booming and glistening instrumental, with skittering hi-hats and warm keys, while Ali’s lyrics hold a sinister tone and insidious message for his detractors and demons.

It’s almost impossible not to praise Ali’s lyricism or flow but the man deserves a lot of credit for writing and performing catchy hooks and verses. “Smooth” has a fantastically potent, melodic and engaging flow that really give this track some lasting impact.

Alternating abrasiveness and pensiveness, the artist passionately laments his disappointment in so-called friends, as well as the force of his own ambition to succeed, over a swirling and intoxicating beat that doesn’t leave you a moment to breathe.

As the track progresses, Ali Duokali gets more and more aggressive, angry and unapologetic in his raps. Although Ali’s furious and forceful delivery takes control, spitting off bars with authority, the song never loses its melodic smoothness. Ali’s rapid and twisting delivery is right on point with memorable, hard-hitting bars. I harp on Ali’s delivery once again because it’s so key to what makes this track great.

So many hip-hop and trap tracks today are largely forgotten because the delivery just flat-out sucks. But Ali Duokali brings so much intensity, passion and rawness in his voice, which along with his choice of diction in his delivery, could make any average banger into something that’s truly memorable. Ali makes the most out of a 3 minute and 41 second duration, by coming directly at the listener with some straight-talking lines.

“Smooth” acts as the perfect platform for Ali Duokali to solidify his name. It’s clear to listeners that Ali proves to be an elite artist with every release, but throughout the duration of this project he shines brighter than ever.

The switching of his cadence as he flows on this track is impressive, as is the entire musical environment throughout the record. “Smooth” is easily one of my favorite modern rap and trap singles so far this year, while South Jersey’s Ali Duokali is proving to be one of the more exciting, up-and-coming names in underground hip-hop.