“Luv 4 Rent” – Smino Album Review
Written by wmscweb on February 22, 2023
By Rikkira Harfield
Smino, the St. Louis rapper, singer, and songwriter, has been steadily rising to the forefront of the hip-hop scene with his unique blend of genres and styles. His latest release, as of October 28, 2022, “Luv 4 Rent,” highlights his distinct sound and solidifies his place as one of the most exciting artists in the game. The album features 15 tracks that seamlessly fuse elements of hip-hop, soul, funk, and R&B, creating a sonic landscape that is both inventive and captivating. In this analysis, as Smino is currently on his “Luv 4 Rent” tour, I will be diving deep into “Luv 4 Rent,” exploring the standout tracks and discussing the themes and musical elements that make it a must-listen for fans. If you are lucky, Smino will be performing at The Fillmore Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 1st and at Terminal 5 in New York City, New York March 3rd!
The themes of “Luv 4 Rent” are multifaceted, with each track exploring different facets of Smino’s life and artistic vision. Smino’s “No L’s” is a song that exudes confidence and self-assurance. The track is an anthem to the idea of never taking a loss or accepting defeat, both in terms of personal goals and in the larger context of the rap game. Its themes are focused on the idea of striving for success and excellence while staying true to oneself. The beat, which is built around a heavy bass and a subtle guitar riff, is the perfect backdrop for Smino’s delivery, which is full of swagger and confidence. The instrumental and Smino’s flow work together to create a sonic environment that perfectly captures the theme of never taking an “L” and embracing success at all costs. Overall, “No L’s” is an inspiring and motivating track that encourages listeners to strive for greatness and to always stay true to themselves.
Additionally, Smino’s “90 Proof” is another standout track on his latest album. The song showcases Smino’s unique ability to blend different genres and styles, creating a sound that is both distinctive and innovative. The track’s instrumentation, which features a mix of guitar, bass, and drums, creates a dynamic and groove-heavy rhythm that sets the stage for Smino’s vocals. Thematically, this song explores self-reflection and growth. Smino uses the metaphor of alcohol to describe his journey of self-discovery, comparing the process of personal growth to the maturation process of whiskey. The song’s title “90 Proof” refers to the alcohol content of whiskey, emphasizing the importance of staying true to oneself and remaining authentic, even in the face of adversity. Overall, this track is a powerful and introspective track that displays Smino’s depth as a songwriter and his ability to explore complex themes through his music. The song’s themes are universal, making it a relatable and inspiring listen for anyone on their own journey of personal development.
Another standout song that explores several themes through its sonic landscape would be the track “Matinee.” The track features a laid-back, jazzy instrumental that allows Smino’s smooth flow and melodic vocals to shine. Use of melodic runs and intricate rhyme schemes adds to the dreamy, introspective feel of the song, while also conveying a sense of resilience and inner strength. “Matinee” stands as a testament to Smino’s ability to create immersive soundscapes that not only entertains, but provokes thought and reflection on the complexities of life as well.
Lastly, “Pro Freak” is a track that showcases his unique blend of genres and styles. The song features a stripped-down sound, with Smino’s vocals front and center. The instrumental is built around a funky bassline and subtle synths, creating a groove that is impossible to resist. “Pro Freak” explores the themes of sexual empowerment and liberation. The delivery is sultry and seductive, creating a mood that is both intimate and playful. The song is a celebration of sexuality, with Smino emphasizing the importance of consent and communication in sexual relationships. “Pro Freak” is a refreshing take on a subject that is often taboo in mainstream music, and it highlights Smino’s commitment to pushing boundaries and breaking down barriers.
“Luv 4 Rent” is a strong addition to Smino’s discography, displaying his versatility and artistic vision. The album’s themes of confidence, sexuality, and personal growth are universal, making it a relatable listen for anyone. With standout tracks like “No L’s,” “90 Proof,” “Matinee,” and “Pro Freak,” “Luv 4 Rent” is a must-listen for fans of Smino and anyone looking for a fresh and innovative take on hip-hop and soul. Smino’s unique blend of genres and styles, coupled with his powerful and engaging lyrics, makes “Luv 4 Rent” one of the most exciting releases of the past year.
Photo by Denita Turner/Motown Records