Smoke DZA - Rolling Stoned

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Smoke DZA has always played a suitable Robin and, on Rolling Stoned, he's still a ways away from driving the Bat Mobile.

Smoke DZA’s smoked-out offering, Rolling Stoned, should come with a sticker reading “Weed Required” on the cover. Marijuana music is en vogue, and the Harlem native blows much of this forty-one minute project embodying his buddah love. Ironically, this thirteen track offering is much stronger when he veers away from the obvious.

Take the Big K.R.I.T. and Bun B-assisted, “On The Corner”, where DZA drops a solidly visceral narrative about a promising basketball player who goes wayward and ends up getting caught slipping at a dice game. “He used to wanna be a Laker / Now he won’t wake up / Damn, what a way to make the paper,” he raps, summing one of his few truly compelling verses. Opener, “The Wonderful World Of The Kushed God” qualifies DZA’s resume for those who know him more for his suitable sidekick status after rocking with Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T. and others over the past 18 months, providing a glimpse into his broader aspirations in the process:

“Harlem’s own / Certified / I ain’t a new jack that just started coming out side / I been roasting / Battles on 2-5th / When Mob 125 was open / Ask about me / I put in enough work to get the brag rights / I was a bastard in my past life / Fast forward / Still mad nice / The goal ain’t changed / Til’ the whole world know my name.” 

“Notorious” (featuring Fiend and Big Sant) is arguably this project’s crown jewel. Both guest appearances decimate the horn heavy, '70s sounding backdrop and DZA’s rapid fire flow blends perfectly. It’s the type of track that rocks righteously in Beats By Dres or 808s. “Ball Game,” is another winner, as Kendrick Lamar shows up to drop Rolling Stoned’s most rewindable verse.

“It ain’t about the popularity / Measure me by success,” DZA raps on “Quiet,” again highlighting his ambition. Unfortunately, those ambitions are stated more often than practiced. Where “Pow Wow” (featuring Dom Kennedy) declares his Big-Dog status, “Loudest Batch,” “Live Life,” and “We Out,” sound like the exact opposite. The entire album is littered with largely forgettable production, underscoring a slew of forgettable bars.

Smoke DZA has always played a suitable Robin and, on Rolling Stoned, he’s still a ways away from driving the Bat Mobile. Maybe that’s why there’s twelve guest appearances on a thirteen track album. Maybe he feels he resonates more in limited doses. With only four solo joints, it’s difficult to get a feel for the artist. Instead, he flaunts the caricature while the person behind "The Kushed God" is still hidden in a cloud of smoke.

36 Comments

  • Sambo

    Justin Hunte is hatin' on this album way too hard. These rappers (Bun B, Big K.R.I.T., Kendrick Lamar, Curren$y, etc.) wouldn't fuck with DZA if he were garbage. Obviously it's not a 5/5, but classic albums don't come around too often. Just about every track is solid and DZA gets some killer production. 4/5

  • nigga

    way better than that cole album. fuck that nigger i aint checking him for him he made us wait so many years for that shitty boring album with lil subject matter, not surprised jayz's "stars" always fail? this shit is 5/5 for weed smokers u aint listen to smoke dza unless u smoke or drink lots

  • jaegudda

    Mane haters are errWhere but if yu given people like lil wayne best rapper alive and him or Jay-z aint said shit since 03'

  • readysetgo

    never heard of this cat , sounds dope

  • A-Hale

    This is a really bad review. The review is poorly versed in the subject matter--hip-hop culture. Stop being a company man and get out in these streets nigga. This is why BET fired you. The streets is loving DZA. If you were in these streets you would already know that DZA is the glue that holds the whole smokers movement together -- so its no surprise they are all on his album. The tragedy is that you live in BK and hate on the little bit quality local talent we got in NY. right now. You like a former chief of police writing parking tickets (reviews) after you fucked up on duty. You still a ways away from from getting another shot at that editor in chief position. Props to DZA on a sensational 40 minutes of entertainment.

    • Word?

      mad funny considering TCM's shows and shit does nothing but ride for nyc cats and whatnot. he been covering cats that nobody else was talkin bout in nyc for years. Dza must be your boy or something.

  • Anonymous

    Shit's not horrible but I wonder if he even considered that Kottonmouth Kings already have an album titled Rolling Stoned...

    • Nigga knowledge

      No he didnt "consider" that because us niggers don't listen to that redneck trailer park trash music, that shits for wiggers, stupid crackuhhh!!

  • 10InchDick

    rudy: ur wack bitch this album is crack stop ur bieber fever faggot

  • Lil Kane

    Man yall tripping I been banging this joint since it came out.. This is another classic from the Kush God.. I don't care what he talks bout long as it jams.. Theres alot of rappers that ain't talking bout shit these days.. Lease Dza has substance in his music even if is mostly about smoking music still makes since..

  • Nate Zens

    1. The kushed god? jacked from lil b for his based god 2. smoke dza hmmm.... lets see jacked from gza or rza 3. dudes entire persona is based off trying to make a more commericial curren$y 4.dudes wack

    • sssssssssssssss

      white kids who tune into mtv on a daily basis have no say in a rap conversation.if your first memories of rap are Get rich or die trying,soulja boy,and rappers who come with their own dance, then please do the world a favor....killyourself

    • Yofather

      damn son you just got ether'd

    • Up North

      Your points hold no water. First, if you say DZA bit off Lil B's "Based God", then Lil B bit off every member of the Wu, since they been calling themselves God for 2 decades strong. Second, DZA jacked from GZA or RZA? Explain to me how every other artist in hip hop has "Lil" in front of their name? Including Lil B? Third, If DZA bit off Curren$y, then Curren$y bit off Devin the Dude. Or Red & Meth. Fourth point is just plain hating.

  • hhdx youre fucked

    sick album, another nice effort from dza. you fags reviewing these albums on DX need to be shot. This albums atleast a 4, the production, excellent, easy to vibe too. and the lyrics are on point as usual, this dude rides his own lane in his own whip, no sidekick'n batmobilin' required. T.H.C. only had 5 featues outta 14 songs...Dza has always done himself, never rode coattails, and if you think having a few features on your projects makes you someone on the sidelines/a sidekick???, youre fucked, he's just trying to spread the light onto others too, nothing wrong with that.

  • Au Pied De Cochon

    SMOKE DZA is as awful as Mac Miller. GG BITCH

  • AJuelz

    DZA's that dude... "Sour Hour" will forever be a classic.

  • Adam Nowicki

    4 stars - minimum

  • L.T.E.

    This, at least, deserves a 3.5, because (to me) it was better than the Carter IV & Weekend at Burnies. Aside from 1 or 2 songs, I could pretty much listen to the whole thing w/o skipping (and you don't even need to get high to enjoy it). It's not as good or as long as his George Kush album, but it's still worth a listen.

  • ComeonSON

    DZA get better with every tape. he one of the most consistent out right now. A 3 is just disrespectful....

  • Ilene Hawkins

    I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37" HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use ( Bidsget ) . ( com )

  • dope

    I really liked this album, and i like this guy as an artist. He has a great sound, he won't blow you away with his rhymes, but he has a solid flow that complements his beats. I have been listening to his album several times already, really enjoyed it andi feel it's his best work

  • The_R_

    Not rating this b/c i haven't heard it...but this dude is terrible.

  • Anonymous

    This album ain't that bad. 5 stars.

  • Kaan Özel

    Bulshit Carter IV is 3 stars too! This is waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than Tha Carter 4. 4 stars definitely

  • top5

    this guys doesnt 'suck' or anything. but he doesnt have much playback appeal. pretty boring overall as an artist. this album is pretty bad. sorry dza.

  • Russell Mcmillan

    I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37" HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use PennyOrder.comONLY

  • no way

    This guy absolutely sucks. Why Cinematic gave him the album before KRIT is beyond me.

  • Mark Anthony Harris

    A three? Good grief. First, its XXL. Now its Hiphopdx.com? *sigh*