“Cigarettes & Cush” by Stormzy (ft. Kehlani & Lily Allen)
In this track, Stormzy and Kehlani portray two characters on the respective sides of a romantic relationship, while British songstress Lily Allen provides chorus vocals to support the overall narrative.
The aforementioned relationship between Stormzy and Kehlani is presented as one with its fair share of strife. The foundation of this contention appears to be failed attempts at communication and “fights” in general. However, what does seem to bring them together is there mutual affinity for “cigarettes and cush”. Cush (i.e. kush) is a popular and potent strain of marijuana. So put bluntly, the titles of this song is based on the singers mutual affinity for smoking and getting high, particularly in each other’s company. In fact judging particularly from Kehlani’s verse, the way they appreciate blazing together seems to be what is actually keeping their relationship alive.
As for the third verse of the song, Stormzy no longer seems to be focusing on this romance per se. Indeed it would even appear that he and Kehlani may have broken up. But for the most part in this section, the rapper focuses on himself and his relationship with cush. In this particular part of the song, Stormzy gets very-personal and uses a lot of metaphorical language. For instance, at some points where it appears he is referring to his love interest, he may instead be referencing weed – and vice versa. But what is abundantly clear is that once again he has very strong feelings for “cush”, even lamenting that fact that he has been deprived of it.
Inspiration behind Song
Ultimately though it should be noted that Stormzy’s inspiration for writing this track was derived from his real-life appreciation of enjoying the titular intoxicants with his significant other. This of course is a sentiment he knows members of the audience share also. So despite his becoming introspective at the end, “Cigarettes & Cush” is still fundamentally a love song, with those substances playing a prominent role in the relationship.
Writer(s) and Producer(s) of “Cigarettes & Cush”
Stormzy and Kehlani wrote this track alongside Dion Wardle and the song’s producer, Fraser T. Smith. Kehlani and Lily Allen hold no writing credits on this song.
“Cigarettes and Cush” officially came out on 24 February 2017 via a number of labels, including Warner Music Group. It was part of Stormzy’s debut album entitled Gang Signs & Prayer.