It must be frustrating for D Smoke, who turned in an impressive and expertly penned project in Black Habits, to see the defiant response to his recent Best Rap Album Grammy nomination. That's not to say that everybody took issue with his inclusion, which found him honored alongside elite lyricists Freddie Gibbs, Royce Da 5'9", Jay Electronica, and Nas. But enough people openly pondered about D Smoke's nomination, including Pop Smoke's former label head, who condescendingly wondered "Who is D Smoke?"

D Smoke

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The Rhythm + Flow winner recently took a moment to chop it up with HipHopDX ahead of the big event, where he proceeded to reflect on some of the controversy surrounding his nomination. But first, he makes it abundantly clear that he still takes pride in Black Habits, as he should; lest we forget that the album shines as a cohesive body of work, with D Smoke providing plenty of stellar lyricism and a keen ear for production." “Man, I’m still proud of the body of work,” D Smoke tells the publication. “I’m proud that more people will put an ear to it for themselves because of the nomination and because I know what work went into it. With us being nominated, that’s just another milestone. I’m secretly working on another project too, you know what I’m saying?”

“See, I don’t acknowledge the controversy and the mess the same way that I’m sure other people do," he explains. "Because one, I wasn’t banking on the nomination, but at the same time, I knew that the body of work is worthy of whatever recognition comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t change how worthy it was. I don’t look at it from that lens. I know that any one award show can’t acknowledge all of the brilliant music that is out there. Now that there’s music that is incredible and could shift the world, that may never become popular for whatever reason based on what mechanisms are in place. I don’t listen like a civilian, so to speak. I listen with the generals, do you feel me?”

In short, people need to start putting due respect on Black Habits. Look for D Smoke's big Grammy debut this coming Sunday, March 14th. Should you be looking for more insight into the making of his acclaimed album, check our own interview with the rapper right here.