Chris Bodden, Gleaner Writer
Most of us, when we hear of a young, up-and-coming local artiste, we immediately start to think whether he or she is a DJ or a singer.
What about a rapper, though? Yes, it does happen, and, in this case, the phenomenon is encapsulated in an artiste known as Smokey Montana.
Montana, whose given name is Robert Clarke, is a native Hanoverian hailing from Sandy Bay, Mount Pelier.
"I have been involved with music from 2002, but started to really look at it as a business in 2012 after I met with Richard Kerr of Garrison Entertainment and did a couple of songs for him.
"The songs got some rotation on air, but I never got far with them, so I decided to start my solo career and form an entertainment company called Krazy Noize Entertainment."
Smokey has songs to his credit such as If I Should Die and Swear to God as his most popular on the Internet station World Life Radio.
"If I Should Die is getting a lot of rotation and requests lately," said the Jamaican rapper.
"The song is basically about ghetto life and the fact that you did some wrongs, made wrong choices, but now you are at a place where you have acknowledged these wrongs and now you are asking God to protect your family, protect your mother, and so on, if you should die as a result of the wrong choices you made," he said.
"This song had its inspiration in adversity because my two cousins were killed. There was this double murder of my cousins a while back and it really hit me," said Smokey.
"You just can't believe this is happening. That was the quickest reply I could find," he said with a wry smile.
"The other song, Swear to God, was recorded at Rock Star Studios in MoBay on the 'Hot Steam' rhythm, produced by St Bess Records, and it's also creating a lot of buzz out there," said the man from Sandy Bay.
"Another song I have is Dream Girl with Lusion for Garrison Entertainment. Also, the remix is in the works, coming out soon."
"More Money More Problems is another song I did, the inspiration for this one came out of the fact that I had an accident and the old-time saying, 'If you really want to know yuh friends pretend like yuh dead'.
"The person that I was expecting to see stand by me wasn't there."
The graduate from Merlene Ottey Comprehensive High, who is the father of a three-year-old daughter and responsible for three older boys, said he leads a normal life.
"Regular hustling like every Jamaican, I was a cook. I raised chickens, I used to run a taxi and even did some mason work," noted the entertainer.
"I'm just trying to be me, not just a DJ, me, expressing the way I feel," said Montana.