For all the talk of bringing New York back that has polluted message boards, comment sections, and Twitter feeds for the past decade or more, there have been small cadres of Empire State artists quietly putting out amazing music. Smoke DZA is among those artists, and he hasn’t stopped since the recent release of the slept on RFC mixtape.
His latest track, “City Of Dreams” is Harlem hip-hop at its best. DZA embodies the flashy cockiness that has long been a trademark of Uptown emcees but maintains the rough edge that comes from living in close vicinity to the danger zone. Over co-producers Buda Da Future and Grandz Musik’s dark soundbed, DZA waves his city’s flag, and then firmly plants it into the ground claiming it for himself.