Review Summary: Riiiiiight
Do you want your new album to be considered as a success even before its release date? Get some Harry Fraud beats and stream it. Sean Pompey or Smoke DZA, a Harlem based MC most likely known via his full of weed anthems, George Kush Da Button and Rolling Stoned mixtapes, found the right formula to make heads deal with him but this time for real. When you are backed up by the mastermind called Harry Fraud, road to success is guaranteed and has much less stress. Ask French Montana. Even Rick Ross aka the greatest ear-for-beats-alive caught wind of the Brooklyn native producer and gave him a spot on the upcoming Selfmade album.
Album kicks off really hard. Azealia Banks may think she reps Harlem more than anyone else right now through her hit, 212, which is the area code of Manhattan, but it’s the Bobby Womack sample (Across 110th Street) in the homonym track of the album that hits a nerve. New Jack proves that DZA isn’t just another kush rapper even if his nickname is Kushed God. He switches up his lyrical matters to a more conscious style and as he says “The album was inspired by my favorite TV show, Boardwalk Empire and the main character Nucky Thompson. I’m not forgetting about the smokers, but this album focuses more on the hustle side of the weed game and the parellels with Nucky’s win-at-all-costs mentality”. Baleedat finds Smoke DZA and his cohort, Curren$y exchanging rhymes about another man's broad while Playground Legends serves as a hustling tale. Insert Odd Future’s sideman Domo Genesis, Black Hippy’s ScHoolboy Q and a screwed-down 2Chainz sample along with some lethargic Smoke DZA raps and you have Ashtray. F**k your Mother is as Sean Price shouts out at start a Brownsville x Harlem collaboration where both rappers come really hard over a flute-sampled beat. The album hardly flops at any moment, Game 7 as ambient as it is, looks comfortable for another Harlem-based MC like A$AP Twelvy to hop on while Kenny Powers is another certified banger where Smoke DZA doesn’t lose the chance to show off a more aggressive side of his rapping. DZA, as he admitted, met Harry through Action Bronson so it’s no surprise that the last is featured on Turnbuckle Music where the most catchy hook of the album can be found. The album ends with a nostalgic Rivermonts, the posse cut guitar-based Lo Horsemen and a Prelude to the Judgement Day, no significant flaws detected.
DZA and Fraud managed to create an almost perfect midnight soundtrack to bump with some henny and -what else- lots of weed. All in all this is the best body of work for mr. Pompey so far.