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Rap Song of the Week: Smino and J. Cole Light It Up on “90 Proof”

Rap Song of the Week: Smino and J. Cole Light It Up on “90 Proof”

Rap Song of the Week runs down all the hip-hop tracks you need to hear every Friday. Check out the full playlist here. This week, Smino gears up for his upcoming album Luv 4 Rent with “90 Proof” featuring J. Cole.


Since dropping “24-8” earlier this month, Smino’s been teasing his next album, Luv 4 Rent, with the hashtag “droptober.” To close out September, the St. Louis native has reunited with J. Cole for his confessional new single, “90 Proof.”

Over a soulful groove co-produced by frequent collaborator monte booker and Groove, Smino uses a singsong flow to plead patience from a woman he hasn’t been able to commit to. Admitting he’s not “great at relationships,” Smino expresses his feelings the best way he knows how. In addition to opening up with lyrics like, “My heart start beatin’ to the trumpet, boom-boom-boom/ I sang this tune, I wrote for you and your DJ, baby,” he promises to “make it back to you.”

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J. Cole, on the other hand, has different emotions to get off his chest. The North Carolina rapper lets off frustration about being bothered by “nosey as fuck” neighbors who keep him from living the lowkey life he desires. There’s a bit of “I move different” energy to his verse, too, when he spells it out that he’s the GOAT and raps, “You ain’t finna catch me in the type of places everybody go/ I know exactly what my hands is for, to carry a lot of dough.”

The official countdown to Luv 4 Rent begins tomorrow. Having gone through a label change and leveled up during the Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions, Smino will look to share the personal growth he’s experienced since his last proper album, 2018’s NOIR.

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Honorable Mentions:

Kid Cudi feat. 2 Chainz – “Can’t Believe It”

Entergalactic not only serves as the companion piece to Kid Cudi’s animated Netflix special of the same name, but the rapper also told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe that he thinks of it as “closing the chapter on Kid Cudi.” Beef with Kanye West aside, Cudi has recently appeared to find a balance with his mental health, and that’s reflected in the joyful nature of both the album and the visual project. The swaggering “Can’t Believe It” is a fun listen elevated by 2 Chainz’s cocky verse.

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