90 Proof – [Smino] ft. [J. Cole]

For way too long, I neglected Smino’s gift of music. Not that I disliked his offerings whatsoever, but I just didn’t take the time to truly appreciate what he offered to the world, and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I made myself sit down and indulge in his music. It was from that point that I knew just how talented, innovative, and outside of the box he has always been, and it seems like as he has seen his career skyrocket, he has gotten better and better.

He just adds the easygoing, upbeat aesthetic to any song he’s a part of, whether it’s his own singular record or a feature he jumps on, and I feel like no one in the entire world is as smooth or silky as he has proven to be. I’m not sure when his upcoming third studio album Luv 4 Rent is expected to drop, but I do know that last week he debuted a Monte Booker and Groove-produced single off of the impending project on a local St. Louis radio station entitled “90 Proof” alongside the legendary J. Cole. I have stated in the past that I am not the biggest Cole fan, not because of his skills or sounds because I know he’s one of the best in the business, but for me personally, I have just never caught the bug.

This song has me thinking otherwise, though, because his second verse is absolutely insane, displaying rapid bars, nimble wordplay, and even some melodiousness at times. That’s not to overshadow Smi’s insanely imaginative contributions, either, because the way he uses altered vocals along with his normal voice always brings things to a level that makes you think as you vibe out, but what else can you expect from someone as extraordinary as him?

If you know this duo’s history, you know that this isn’t the first time they’ve worked together, so the chemistry that they have along with the push to level up one another is uncanny throughout this entire track. I’m sure you’ve already. Heard “90 Proof” at this point, but if you somehow haven’t, make it a point to give this record a listen as we prepare for Smino’s upcoming album that is sure to be another spectacle added to his discography.