Originally published at City Life
Hip-hop has a long running love affair with marijuana. From Dr. Dre’s The Chronic to Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers, there’s no shortage of odes to ganja. Adding another chapter to the weed-enthusiasts’ catalog is Smoke DZA (pronounced DIZ-uh) with his latest offering, The Hustler’s Catalog.
Fans left with an empty feeling from Rolling Papers will find a haven here. Whether the frantic pace of the Lex Luger-produced “Loaded,” or the slowed-down, Devin The Dude-assisted “White Papers,” DZA manages to provide new takes on his favorite pastime. When DZA departs the smoking section, Catalog doesn’t miss any steps. “Winning” co-opts Charlie Sheen’s new favorite word, crafting a tale about the pursuit of success. Frequent collaborator Big KRIT lends a verse and a beat to “1st Class,” a standout track on the album. SoCal’s Kendrick Lamar and The Kid Daytona also provide memorable verses on “How Far We Go” and “Cool Shit,” respectively.
No matter how you feel about weed, there’s no denying Smoke DZA’s talent. Dope beats and rhymes (no pun intended) give The Hustler’s Catalog instant replay status. ANTHONY SPRINGER, JR.