Since the success of stoner rappers such as Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y, there have been more and more MCs making weed the focus of their rhymes and style. One of the more prominent of these up and comers is indie artist Smoke DZA. After collaborating with the likes if Devin the Dude, Statik Selektah, Nipsey Hussle and Big K.R.I.T. and dropping several street albums, DZA offers his latest project Rolling Stoned.
The production is easily high point of the album. Anyone who prefers chill, sample heavy beats (Smoke DZA seems to have an affinity for sampling beats from Wiz Khalifa’s Kush & OJ mixtape) over wild, 808 heavy beats will enjoy the production on this album. A perfect album to play while spending a night with some papers or blunts, DZA does a good job switching it up with tracks like “4Loko” and “Live Life.” Standout tracks include “Overhigh” featuring Jet Life’s Trademark da Skydiver and Black Hippy’s Schoolboy Q, and my personal favorite, the Curren$y assisted “Personal Party.”
While not in the top tier of lyricists, Smoke DZA is respectable when it comes to lyrics. For someone whose catalog consists of 90% weed songs, DZA finds a way to stay fresh and not repetitive. “Overhigh” see’s him flipping Biggie’s famous “World Is Filled” second verse: “when the yoawa’s in the system, you know how we do it, keep puffin and twistin, thats how we be feelin. ima chief my bud, papers no blunts, dip in the zippy and dump, you only life life once.” Other standouts include, “Notorious” and “Ball Game” with a shine stealing verse from Kendrick Lamar.
As one can guess, Rolling Stoned is primarily a weed themed album. Tracks such as “Personal Party,” Loudest Batch” and “Quiet” are a celebration of the sweet cheeba. But Smoke changes it up enough to keep it from being a lil too smokey. In “Notorious,” DZA pays homage to his fore-fathers 2Pac, Biggie and Jay-Z and “On the Corner” featuring Bun B and Big K.R.I.T. reminisces on the days of hustling. Other standouts include “He Has Risen” and “We Out.”
I’m sure there are many hip hop heads out there who are ready for the ganja “fad” to die down, but hey, the 80’s were 3 decades ago and crack-cocaine doesnt seem to be leaving rap anytime soon. Smoke DZA may come off as a one spliff pony… but he shows potential when expands his horizons. This is personally one of my favorite albums of this year and every stoner/hip hop head should give this album a listen, there’s even a few tracks that you non tokers can enjoy. all-RIIIIIIIIIGHT?