The album includes guest appearances from Ravyn Lenae, Bari, theMIND, Jay2, Via Rosa, Drea Smith, Akenya, Jean Deaux, and Noname, with production coming from Monte Booker, THEMpeople, Sango, Phoelix, and J. Bird. The artwork of the album was done by Victor Birriel and taken by Chicago native, Taylor Madison, photographer of Diary of Disposables.
The release date holds a special significance to the St. Louis rapper because 314 is the area code of his hometown.
Release and promotion
On December 2, 2016, Smino announced the title of the album and released "blkswn" as the first single. On February 8, 2017, the second single, "Anita" was released. He released "Blkoscars" on February 24, and "Father Son, Holy Smoke" on March 10 as promotional singles. On July 26, the music video for "Netflix & Dusse" was released. On March 26, 2018, Smino released the album's final single and music video for "Wild Irish Roses".
Following the album's release, he headlined in his month-long Swanita Tour, which included 22 dates with guests Monte Booker, Jay2, Bari, and Jean Deaux. Smino and Ravyn Lenae also opened for SZA on the CTRL Tour. During October, he was opening act for T-Pain on his Acoustic Tour, who later appeared on the remix for "Anita" on October 27.
Upon its release, album received critical acclaim and positive reviews. Kelsee Thomas of Earmilk said "Smino is letting us know in blkswn that he's aware of the change and of the fact that he needs to pay attention to keeping his vices under control now more than ever. He asked for this blessing and now he's asking for help while his blessings." Scott Glaysher of Exclaim said "Any time an artist can blend genres together in a way that doesn't seem forced or stolen, it definitely makes for an eye-opening listen." On March 17, 2017, Apple Music named Smino "New Artist of the Week".