Smoov-E a.k.a. Eli was born Eli Rafael Meltzer in Summertown, Tennessee on September 26, 1979 to Alan and Lee Meltzer. The youngest of 4 siblings, Eli, his three sisters, mom, and dad moved to Sebastopol when he was 4 years old. It was there that he grew up on the sounds of his parents' favorite records by artists such as The Talking Heads, The Police, Whitney Houston, The Lovin' Spoonful (Boat Full of Gravy), and The Pretenders. Along with his newfound rap favorites such as Bay Area legends Too Short and Spice 1, Eli's passion for music and sexual conquest began to catch fire.
By the time he attended Analy High School, Eli was harassing his parents incessantly for a drum machine until his mother finally broke down and bought him one with the stipulation that he not tell his father. From then on E knew he wanted to dedicate his life to music and spent hours locked in his room mastering the timing and rhythms of his newfound calling. He has since described a drum machine as his first instrument and has clocked more time on them than any other musical tool. His collection of both vintage and modern drum sequencers continues to grow and has been evident in all of his work.
When he graduated high school Eli continued to pursue his musical goals and after making some connections in the local Bay Area hip hop scene he released his self-titled debut under the name Smoov-E. While he has since stated that the album isn't his personal favorite, it did establish him as a presence in the underground scene and featured other prominent artists such as Andre Nickatina, X-Raided, and Young Lay.
He went on to release 5 more albums in the same fashion over the next several years including Keep Your Hand Out My Pocket (R.E.A.L. Records/2000), Confessions (R.E.A.L. Records/2001), Assuefatto (R.E.A.L. Records/2003), Long Duck Dong (R.E.A.L. Records/2005), and Sum Yung Girl (R.E.A.L. Records/2006). Along the way he continued to expand his audience with each consecutive record showing more lyrical prowess, vocal presence, and musical skill than its predecessor. Not only did E develop as an artist he also forged new working relationships with other Bay Area talents during this period including Dubee a.k.a. Sugawolf, Reek Daddy, and most notably the late Mac Dre.
By 2007 Eli had released 6 full-length studio LPs and found his music straying from the synthesizers and drum machines that previously defined his sound. With Larry Dallas (R.E.A.L. Records/2007), Eli moved towards real instrumentation of his sounds playing live drums and piano on much of the album. By the time Rusty Squeezebox (R.E.A.L. Records/2008), was in production Eli had picked up playing the guitar just as both his grandfathers did before him. E's newfound skills with live instruments worked to his advantage while producing the western themed album which meshed the sounds of classic spaghetti western scores and his own unique style of rap.
During the recording of Sum Yung Girl Eli became increasingly interested in video production. After shooting a video for the song "Dream Girl" he decided to put out his next two albums with accompanying DVDs. These led to his next project, Simply Suggestive (R.E.A.L. Records/2009). The concept behind Simply Suggestive would be to shoot and perform 12 previously released Smoov-E songs live in different settings. Doing so would not only provide him a chance to create more videos but also showcase his ever-growing talent on live instruments ranging from guitar, piano, vintage synthesizers, banjos, turntables, and even a typewriter. A twelve track audio CD version was made available as well.
In 2009 Eli released Mr. Biscuits (R.E.A.L. Records/2009), a compilation of B-sides and new tracks heavily laden with vintage synthesizers and drum machines. The album finally provided E with a chance to work with two of his longtime favorites Too Short and Brotha Lynch Hung. Following Mr. Biscuits came El Joy Del Sexo (R.E.A.L. Records/2010). The Latin themed record combined elements of live instruments and hand percussion with Giorgio Moroder-like synthesizers and drum sequencers.
2011 found Smoov E transitioning into new musical horizons as he signed a two-year record deal with I-Khan Distribution under the name "Eli". The only album that came from these years was titled "One Popular Guy" (I-Khan/2011), executive produced by Andre Nickatina. It took the artists love for early rock and a roll and fused it with the rap production he's best known for. The release was backed by heavy touring and self-indulgence.
After his deal with I-Khan, Eli began working on another Smoov E concept album. For the break dance themed record Smoov E enlisted the help of legendary producer Egyptian Lover for the title track. He collaborated with artist Nathan Gomez to create a 32-page, full cover, deluxe companion comic book for the EP "Rappin' Robot" (R.E.A.L. Records 2013) that preceded the full-length record simply entitled "Breakdance" (R.E.A.L. Records).
In 2013 Smoov E set his sights on recording an album produced in the style of the 80s horror director John Carpenter. On Jessica Gets Jealous (R.E.A.L. Records 2014) the unmistakable sounds and elements from classic slasher films compliment the sharp lyrics as Smoov E courts yet another doomed mistress. Released in February 2014 on Rap Entering Another Level.
In 2014 Smoov E releases another two albums. The first is an electro funk themed album aptly titled "I Funked Her First". The second release of 2014 is a Top Gun themed album about the worlds most famous legal hooker "Air Force Amy". After a liquor fueled performance at Carson City's Bunny Ranch, and a chance meeting with Air Force Amy, the two decided Amy needed a theme song. The result was a five song EP in the style of Harold Faltermeyer's original score for Top Gun. This album glorifies the world of legal prostitution.
Up next is part 2 of "I Funked Her First" titled "Funk Me Harder'. This album contains a hardcore bay area rap sound with plenty of features.