For many years I only knew of Smoke DZA thanks to his many appearances on Curren$y’s numerous tapes but over the past few years he’s really been making a name of his own thanks to solid project after solid project. Not For Sale is just the latest in line of those solid projects and it’s classic hip-hop throughout. You won’t find any trends or gimmicks here, just a concern for bars and lyricism and solid production. It’s really an ode to late ’90s/early ’00s hip-hop, as a lot of it’s production samples heavily from that era and he himself pays homage through lyrical references on a number of occasions. This direction definitely won’t open him up to a new audience outside of his already core fans or hip-hop purists but Not For Sale is still yet another solid addition to an impressive and growing discography.
I'm a fan but I've been as critical of his music as any one out there, but Cole absolutely knocked it out of the park with KOD. Easily his most relatable project yet that has something for everyone. If you're still in the 'hate J. Cole' camp after this then you're just not listening enough or you haven't experienced life enough. Simple as that.
CARE FOR ME is an absolutely gorgeous project with lush soundscapes that allows Saba to lay down deep, emotional, introspective gem after deep, emotional, introspective gem. It's an exploration of grief, isolation, and trying to cope with the woes of life. But it's more cathartic than masochistic with glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.
Planet's sound is more in line with the 'popular' sounds out there but he still keeps that menacing undertone and breakneck double time flow, all while laying down some incredibly personal verses that make him even more relatable than ever. 20 albums in and he still finds ways to elevate his craft; I think it's more than time Tech N9ne gets the respect he deserves as one of hip-hop's greatest to ever do it - not only the hardest working.
“Niggas dying to be important Souls get bought quite often No integrity, what you talking? All things, offsprings get lost in The systems of these streets we involved in Either you crack slinging or balling The American dream to get rich and the whole hood all in”
Have you heard Not For Sale? What’d you think about it? Do you think it’s time we looked at Smoke DZA as a more serious contender in hip-hop? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.
Smoke DZA – Not For Sale Reaction
Smoke DZA's "Not For Sale" is an homage to classic hip-hop and it may not open him up to a new audience outside of his already core fans or hip-hop purists but it's still yet another solid addition to an impressive and growing discography.