It’s been roughly 2 years since Smoke DZA blessed stereo speakers with a studio album. The Harlem MC linked up with legendary producer Pete Rock for their collaboration, Don’t Smoke Rock. Prior to his collaborative efforts with Rock, DZA released Dream.Zone.Achieve, which was recorded as his audio autobiography on how he became an accustomed name to Hip-Hop. On April 9th of this year he released his 6th installment of Ringside, a pro wrestling themed project with producer 183rd. As an ambassador to Weed Culture, it was only right for Smoke DZA to drop his latest studio album on 4/20. 4/20 is the official holiday for weed smokers across the globe.
In his newest album, titled Not For Sale, Smoke DZA continues from Dream.Zone.Achieve in creating music for his fans and most importantly himself. The theme for this album is to “never sell out”. This project is released under Babygrande Records, a New York based label who’s involved with releasing projects for hip hop legends Havoc, GZA, and U-God.
A track called The Mood, a recognizable sample with a guest verse from fellow NY rapper, Joey Bada$$. The emcees rap over the The Originals sampled track. They effectively get their point across on how to set the mood towards getting after a daily hustle to survive and strive during these bizarre times – “Trump got the whole world hopeless, Still got my chest pokin’”
With Summer around the corner, the following records clearly set the mood to ride around Santa Barbara, California with the windows down in the heat. The Love, is a romantic tune featuring LA based singer Ty Dolla Sign. In the song the two artists spend time convincing a woman to be with them. While using resounding lyrics and a melodic chorus confirming what she’d prefer in a man.
Smoke DZA linked with California artists Dom Kennedy and Cozz for The Hook Up. The listener gets taken for a ride between Harlem and the West Coast. Through clever and cocky rhymes from Dom Kennedy, verses placed as a “How to Guide” to survive in the hood from Cozz, and DZA’s perspective on how he made it in Hip-Hop.
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From start to finish, the album reminds us in each track that nothing is for sale and Smoke DZA has no signs in ever selling out. In an era of Hip Hop where lyrics aren’t deemed popular by listeners, DZA made sure he continued building on his craft with the help of kicks and snares. The interpretation for this album is that the artist worked to hard on their art. The idea to turn their back on the fans to make millions and perhaps be shaped & molded by industry standards just isn’t seen to be ideal. With Smoke DZA’s voice to known New York style on verses, while implementing a few weed references along with hunger to rap outside of the box. This album is something for his long-time fans along with continuing his versatility to keep attracting new fans.
‘Not for Sale’ is out now, via Babygrande Records. The albums full track listing is….
1. The Legacy
2. The Mood f. Joey Bada$$
3. The Come Up f. D.R.A.M.
4. The High f. Velous
5. The Hustle f. LevyGrey & Bodega Bamz
6. The Love f. Ty Dolla $ign
7. The Lifestyle
8. The Antidote f. LevyGrey
9. The Game
10. The Glow
11. The Soul f. Vado
12. The Hook Up f. Dom Kennedy & Coz