Before the roaches of George Kush da Button could cool off, Smoke DZA -- Hip-Hop's beloved, chain-smoking Harlemnite -- has sparked the next one, The Hustler’s Catalog. It’s another adventure filled with head thumping production, several stellar guest features and of course endless tales of the friendliest of leaves.
The haze is the thickest when DZA is in his comfort zone. Slow, thumping beats, with plenty of horns and vibrant sonic concussions like on “F*ck is You Talking Bout,” shift the focus entirely from his rhymes to a more balanced sound. His chemistry is rock solid with The Kid Daytona as the two trade excellent verses on “Cool Sh*t,” on what is easily one of the high (pun intended) points of the album. The same holds true on “Roll Up, Pour Up,” one of the all-around best songs, featuring strong 16s DZA and an equally good and catchy hook courtesy of Killa Kyleon.
However, the grass isn’t always so green, as contrary to popular belief that there is no such thing as too much weed. The subject matter quickly grows redundant, along with the stoic emcee’s inflexible flow and cliché stories. And when he occasionally branches out into other topics, DZA often winds up sounded artificial and corny, as seen in “Know Better,” where he raps “Out until every damn ounce is out/You’d be a fool if you count me out/I’m more clever than that/I’m a 9/11 n*gga, I know better than that.” Additionally, the majority of the features such as Kendrick Lamar on <a href="http://smokingsection.uproxx.com/TSS/2011/01/smoke-dza-feat-mac-miller-always-been-video-x-uptown81-feat-kendrick-lamar">"Uptown 81"</a> easily outrap the main attraction.