Both Smoke DZA and Joey Bada$$ made a name for themselves by bringing back boom-bap. The two provided a glimpse into a golden era of hip-hop for those who weren’t there to hear it. Dusty samples and dustier drums have earned them wide critical acclaim that bridge the gap between young and old fans.
Many credit Joey’s 2012 mixtape “1999” as a catalyst in bringing back lyricism to rap’s mainstream culture, and DZA wouldn’t disagree. The years after Joey’s tape would prove fruitful for the New York rappers, especially DZA, who broke onto the scene in 2002 when the south began to dominate radio.
After they collaborated on their eerie song “Gotham Fucking City” from 2013, DZA would go on to release his collaborative Don’t Smoke Rock tape with legend Pete Rock. The 2016 tape’s leading single “Limitless” features another newcomer in Dave East, who signed with Nas under Def Jam only a few months later.
While Joey continues to change his sound, DZA brings him back to his roots on “The Mood.” They both go no-holds barred and hold no bars back over a 183rd-produced beat. If you’ve been waiting for the moment to see a piece of “1999” Joey again, you can thank Smoke DZA for setting the “The Mood.”