Smino’s “90 Proof” featuring J. Cole is housed on his new Luv 4 Rent album, but the “90 Proof” video shifted the spotlight from Smino to Cole once fans started speculating that the Dreamville boss slyly included his son in one of the scenes.
— King Blanco (@King_Blancoo) November 3, 2022
Cole shares two sons with his wife, Melissa Heholt. “She gave me the gift of my son, and plus we got one on the way,” he revealed in 2019’s “Sacrifices,” a track on Dreamville’s Revenge Of The Dreamers III compilation album that also featured Smino. Cole confirmed the boy’s arrival in a July 2020 essay written for The Players’ Tribune. The boy in the “90 Proof” video looks older than two or three years old, so if it were either of Cole’s sons at all, it would have to be his oldest. But it’s a moot point.
DJ Paradime posted the backstory to Instagram. “My homie who was the casting director hit me two days before the video shoot and asked if I wanted to be an extra in Smino new video featuring @realcoleworld,” the caption reads, in part. “He told me I had to be there at 8am and it would probably last all day. I told him I can’t make it, I gotta drop off / pick up kids from school and it’s no way I can make it. He said maybe you can bring the kids and if I got anyone else I know who got small kids to maybe ask them too. First kids that came to mind were Biscuit’s bestest friends! So I hit up @nervreck and told him the the concept for the video. So Nerv and I both had a lot of errands to run so we could make this happen and we both took them kids outta school early! I felt like we made them skip class for this.”
DJ continued, “I’m so proud of all of them! First because they were patient after doing so many takes. Second because they were brave when presented with new ideas on the spot that were asked of them. Last because they didn’t cry and fight for almost 8 hours.”
Cole might have been toying with fans’ curiosity about his intensely private personal life. The boy’s cameo coincides with Cole rapping, “I bought a condo and it’s cozy, my neighbors’ nosy as f*ck / They see a young n***a walked in with his kids / They don’t know who he is, they just know that he up.” Coincidence?
Watch the “90 Proof” video above.