Smino And J. Cole’s ’90 Proof’ Is Pure Firewater


After teasing his new collaboration with J. Cole, “90 Proof,” earlier this week, Smino released the single overnight and shared a behind-the-scenes teaser from its upcoming music video on Instagram. As is the custom for a Smino release, “90 Proof” is a slinky cut co-produced by frequent collaborator Monte Booker and Groove, all brush snares and gyrating bass, with both rappers doing their things. Smino sing-raps a soulful confessional to a woman he’s been keeping at arm’s length, while J. Cole goes full speed ahead detailing his own authenticity.

“90 Proof” is the latest single from Smino’s long-awaited third album, Luv 4 Rent. The follow-up to his 2018 album Noir, he’s been cooking up his new project for quite some time, dropping “Rice & Gravy” in spring 2021. Toward the end of the year, he followed up with “I Deserve,” and since then, he’s been filling up his 2022 schedule with a string of impressive guest features with the likes of Syd (“Right Track“), Lucky Daye (“God Body“), Saba (“Still” with 6lack), and Tiana Major9 (“2 Seater“).

Before all that, Smino released the surprise mixtape She Already Decided in 2020, building on the buzz from his previous well-received albums. There’s still no word on his Ghetto Sage group project with Noname and Saba, but at least his new album is on the way; without a firm date, all we’ve got to go on so far is “Droptober.” The countdown starts tomorrow.



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