Updated: Aug 16, 2019
Timothy Smoot, also known by his stage name "Tim Smooth", was an American rapper from New Orleans. He was among the first rappers to emerge from New Orleans with regional success after releasing his song "I Gotsta Have It" in 1991. He began producing more hits throughout the 90s. On July 26, 2011 he died of cancer. Tim Smooth was known as the pioneer of New Orleans hip hop.
Tim Smooth was born and raised Marrero, Louisiana and grew up in the Kennedy Heights section. While attending L.W. Higgins High School, he was known as "the Knight from Kennedy Heights". He battled local rappers during lunchtime and on the school's playgrounds.
In 1991, Smooth released his debut, "I Gotsta' Have It on Yo!", following the lead of Gregory D and DJ Mannie Fresh who had released ""D" Rules the Nation" two years earlier before moving to RCA in one of the earliest (and abortive) instances of a major showing interest in the South. The year before, Yo! had also released fellow New Orleanian rapper (and Parkway Pumpin' associate) Lil' Mac's full-length debut, The Lyrical Midget. I Gotsta' Have It was an instant New Orleans classic, the humor and confidence of which, belied the fact that it was the first release by a teenager.
Three years later he released debut Straight Up Drive 'Em released in 1994 via Rap-A-Lot Records. The album sold well but didn't top the charts. At Big Boy Records, Tim Smooth ghostwrote lyrics as “Playboy Sha-Burnke". It was at Big Boy Records where he met another graduate of Parkway Pumpin', Mystikal, with whom he formed a lifelong and close friendship. By Mystikal's own admission, Smooth co-wrote "The Mind of Mystikal" off his self-titled debut.
Mystikal would find global success after moving to No Limit, which in 1996 had finally piqued the interest of Priority Records, who'd signed a $30 million deal. In 1998, Cash Money signed a similarly large deal with Universal. In 1998 he released his second album Da Franchise on Mobo records. it was success and also became a classic album. His last two albums Let It Be Written and The Invisible Man earned him legendary statics. Tim Smooth died July 26, 2011 at age 39, after a long battle with cancer.