higher ground

snoop dogg brought weed rapping to my consciousness. he was constantly referencing his love for green trees. the luniz “put 5 on it”, which became one of the most recognizable weed anthems of all time. it’s nothing new for hiphop artists to site a smoke session as inspiration for some of their most creative moments. rappers today don’t claim to smoke for flashes of creativity, they smoke because it’s a natural part of life. it’s a defining characteristic for dudes like wiz khalifa, currensy, and harlem’s smoke dza.

this week, after a string of amusing mixtapes, dza released rolling stoned. i have to admit, if you can see beyond the weed talk and there’s plenty of it, you’ll recognize this guy has some authentic nyc talent peeking through. his flow reminds me of camp lo, a group whose clever style and throwback edge brought them mild main stream success and a cult following behind the banger “luchini (this is it)”. dza boasts over stellar beats and strong guest appearances, making rolling stoned a solid effort, but something is missing.

at times dza tears through his verse and leaves us wanting more. there seems to be a bit more style than substance sprinkled throughout the albums 13 tracks. compton’s heavyweight indie-knockout artist kendrick lamar flat-out steals the show on “ball game”, while the strongest effort on the record is dza and currensy’s spaced out “personal party”. next time dza needs to write more verses and put the guest tracks in the vault because i want to see where he can go when it’s just him and a mic. as for rolling stoned, it’s made for exactly that. it’s hiphop for the headies, no beasters for smoke dza. that’s not his style at all.


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