Smoke DZA & Pete Rock Bring Back 90’s Hip-Hop On ‘Don’t Smoke Rock’

Written by Jackson Mumford

True lyricism is what I call this project; it has all the feeling of old-school rap that we always have to pay homage to.

On the note of old school, this project has the one and only Chocolate Boy Wonder, Pete Rock. Pete Rock has been a staple in the game since the late 80s and with DZA sound it’s picture perfect. The New York sound comes to life in this project, DZA captures his life through his countless bars that add up to a story only he can tell. Lined with thirteen songs and production like no other, spinning to the simple 1, 2s, Smoke DZA and Pete Rock flow off these beats like real OGs.

The album kicks off with Limitless that features Dave East. DZA comes through with his intricate wordplay from the off, telling us to reach for the stars and never let anybody hold us down. The New York sound comes straight to life and you can’t help to nod your head to the flows of the artists and the DJ scratching the song like you were in 90’s hip-hop club in Harlem.

They duo are able to give the listeners a flashback to the drug dealing days (not that they are over for some) with Moving Weight Pt. 1 that has a heavy feature from Cam’ron and NymLo. A symphony of classic NY beats takes over and DZA flows in with powerful bars. DZA has been in the game for well over a decade, each and every project he’s drop is pure fire, especially one of my favorites with Action Bronson Big, Bad & Dangerous. DZA has a handful of the hard-hitting lyrics from his past and present that mixes in and out of Pete Rock’s flow. Pete Rock is an exceptional counterpart for this project. Rock has been known to keep it the old-school way and not go in the direction of the new-school wave.

Songs that quickly follow are Black Superhero Car and Hold The Drums that feature two other big names in the rap game, Rick Ross and Royce Da 5’9. DZA and Pete Rock are on another level, with DZA in the booth and Rock on the keys. The two songs make you feel that “old Harlem” DZA was mentioning in the Intro. The quasi-comeback of this classic NY sound that was transmitted through the likes of Jay Z will be a sound for sore ears as I’m sure the OG hip-hop heads will definitely be bumping this for a long time.

Don’t Smoke Rock earns a solid thumbs up from me, and I’m sure many hip-hop heads too. It delivers hip-hop in it’s most purest form, with punch lines that will make you recognize where all this new age rap comes from.

This sound has really been emphasized all over the media in recent months with the release of The Get Down and Hip-Hop Evolution on Netflix. These shows really explain, in detail, the start of what many others and I love so dearly; from DJ Kool Herc to Schooly D and now DZA and Pete Rock. It deserves more than a listen, but to understand where the hip-hop and rap sound originates through its rappers and producers.

Listen to Limitless below.

Credit: babygranderecords

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