Methods of Expression
Danny Smith was born August 6, 1987, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Growing up in the neighboring town of Somerville and attending school nearby, he made known early on that he would express himself at will and in his own light. Full of emotion, he spent day to day creating artwork of all genres, most often writing stories of fantastical struggles and bloody illustrations to match; the villain always ended victorious. Part of this powerful energy constantly steered Danny towards mischief, an obstacle a grade school teacher once described as "what will make him the youngest leader of the mafia ever, if something cannot channel it differently." Around this time Danny picked up his first drum set, playing for a handful of years alongside a decade-long development of piano skills. Through his early years, Danny built a diverse foundation for meaningful artistic expression that would eventually produce the unique, east coast sound of Supraliminal. Danny's years in Boston Public middle and high schools followed to usher in an eclectic medley of late nights, weed smoke, beer bottles, first love, great depression, impressive grades, aggressive mindset, graffiti obsession, and Rahzel valuation. The latter three predominantly propelled Smith through his transition to hip hop culture. Days upon months were spent imitating, practicing and polishing Rahzel's difficult beatboxing routines, earning him a striking talent that could not go unnoticed, and the title of 'DJ Mini' to accompany it. Supplying the daily after-school freestyle circles with instrumentals, Danny came to realize that spitting rhymes was both exciting and therapeutic; he first connected with fellow student emcees Messiah and Static (the younger brother of Boston's award-winning producer WMS The Sultan), practicing freestyling and verbal skills by rapping through text of classics like The Iliad and others. While venturing into writing his first rap songs, Danny met Somerville's own duo Poemetrics (Diatribe and Rhetoric), renown rappers in their own right, and a founding influence over his musical direction. A durable bond formed from their common desires to commit themselves in leading an artistic revolution against the prevailing mainstream culture of hip-hop music. Recognizing the raw talent in Smith, it was during this stage that Rhetoric assigned him the emcee name of Supraliminal, a word meaning "at or above the threshold of consciousness." In November of 2003, Supra was noticed and elected by Tufts University to perform at their hip hop festival between performances from Boston-based emcee Akrobatik, and Blackstar's own Talib Kweli. The microphone, the stage, the lights, the crowd, and the roar of applause that night gave him a rush he could not forget; it was the subject of the college essay that induced his acceptance to Columbia University, one of the nation's top schools where he is currently in his senior year and majoring in economics and psychology and earning the highest academic honors. It was that night when Supra found the drive and comfort in pursuing hip-hop as a career. His first album, entitled Methods of Expression Volume One, was released in 2004 and featured several of his own beats, intelligently poetic and complex lyrics, and powerful collaborative tracks such as 'The Ode' and 'The Uprising.' The record was welcomed around the Boston area as a different form of hip hop. Two years of improvement spawned his sophomore CD in 2006, Methods of Expression Volume Two, which has gained Supra a concentrated recognition within the Boston and New York metro areas, as well as attention across the country and overseas with the help of digital distribution. Performances across greater Boston and Manhattan have also elevated awareness of the emcee's skills and have since landed him on the same stage as Martin Luther of the Roots and a handful of underground artists. While Supraliminal's lyricism is densely immersed with hometown issues of drug abuse, emotional distress, violence, and a rejection of mainstream culture, it still maintains optimism, strength of mind, constructive commentary and higher philosophies. In June of 2008, Supra released his best album to date, Volume Three: Most Likely to be Famous, named after the superlative he was awarded in high school. The experimentation with a more commercialized production sound, insightful words and an immaculate flow has proved to be a winning combination and a stunning culmination of his creative expression and artistic maturation thus far. Supra plans to release his fourth album, tentatively titled Mind Ova Matter, by the close of 2008.