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In Review: Smino's "90 Proof"

Neo-Soul Rapper Smino is one of the most unique of our generation. He is in constant collaboration with other artists including the likes of JID, Buddy, Saba, and Noname. He has released two critically acclaimed studio albums so far titled, “blkswn” and, “NØIR”. This year he has been busy, releasing tons of singles. His latest single, a collaboration with rapper J Cole, “90 Proof” has been used as an announcement for his upcoming album, “Luv 4 Rent”.


This track features Sminos distinctive voice, as he often raps with a slight southern twang. The track also features an amazing beat, produced by Monte Booker and Groove. It has striking drums, a funky guitar, and bass. The next standout feature on this song is Smino's electric harmonies. He often has complex layers of harmonies, adding tons of texture to his tracks. Both Smino and J Cole have great flow and interesting ad-libs. Coles's verse fits perfectly into the track and overall the entire gets a 9/10 rating on the Intersect Scale for its sound.


On this track, Smino discusses his toxic behavior saying, “take a break and roll a sticky let's get high”. Smino uses drugs as a coping mechanism for the constant issues he faces in his social and romantic life. The lyrics switch direction as J Cole's verse comes in. Cole explores themes of success in terms of his romantic relationship and his career, saying, " got a real one, if I was broke, she never would leave me, no". Smino and J Cole collectively get an 8/10 for their lyrics.


Smino is without a doubt one of the most creative artists of our time. He constantly displays signs of bravery, as he continues to take eccentric approaches to his sound. His constant collaboration with producer Monte Booker always guarantees his success when putting out tracks. This track debuted on the radio station Hot 104.1 St.Louis, where he took the opportunity to announce his upcoming album. Smino also dropped a “90 Proof” visualizer with this song showing a creative commercial for 90 Proof alcohol. He went to Instagram to interact with fans before the drop of the song, coining the term, “#droptober”. Smino is a promising act, one with the potential to make huge waves in the rap world. For his art and uniqueness, Smino gets a 10/10 on the Intersect Scale.

All in all, this Smino and J Cole track gets a 9/10. Watch the visualizer for the track below.



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