Roanoke emcee Smiff is returning with a full-length sophomore effort. Properly introducing myself in the summer of 2018 off his debut To Whom It May Concern, it’s been quite a while since we last heard from him so it only makes since for him to make his comeback for those who’re already familiar with him & being able to turn some newer heads onto him by providing a better look at who he is both artistically & personally as a Virginia Native even though he’s now based in our nation’s capital.

“Purgatory” starts the LP on a cloudy note talking about the city where young homies get clapped up whereas “Fallin’” works in a sample heavier sound looking to take a leap of faith. “Early Morning” takes a soulful approach instrumentally admitting that he’s coming fresh off the late night even though he gets up early regardless, but then the triumphant “Back in My Mode” hooks up another soul flip except this time they’re swapping out the kicks & snares for hi-hats getting back in his element.

To close out the first half of the album, “Hazard Pay” featuring Richie Rich shoots for a groovier vibe with the beat reminding that what goes up must come down leading into “Hell Raiser” featuring 4Lo Drilla starting the 2nd leg over a slowly morbid instrumental advising to keep a heater around you if you don’t have family that supports you. “Find My Way” says it all topically accompanied by airy production just before the cloudy” I Promise” featuring Jabb refuses to stop. 

“Ode to My City” featuring Heroux nears the end of the album by paying homage to Roanoke backed by a woozy trap beat & as for the title title track that ends the album, we have Smiff on top of a boom bap instrumental so he can take pride in being a product in the titular state fittingly wrapping it all up on a sincerely heartfelt moment.

Virginia Native marks a moment of reflection for Smiff acknowledging his promise, maturity & healthy progress toward his ambitions because the growth compared to the first album is noteworthy. Tight feature list, improved production & you get a more introspective side of Smiff compared to the debut.

Score: 7/10