It's a great day to be a fan of bars, with new albums from Lloyd Banks, Papoose, Peter Rosenberg, and Smoke DZA, who has officially come through to deliver his new project The Hustler's Catalog 2. Featuring a stacked roster of guest appearances from Westside Gunn, Curren$y, Dom Kennedy, Dave East, Benny The Butcher, and more, it's clear that the sequel is primed to as hard-hitting as its predecessor.
Striking an intriguing tone off the bat with “Big Step,” a slinking grimy endeavor featuring the added talents of Westside Gunn and Curren$y Spitta, it’s exactly the sort of vibe DZA has been perfecting for years now. He proceeds to trade bars with Dave East on the following track “Grey Poupon,” a back-and-forth structure that showcases the chemistry between the two New Yorkers. On “Peace,” DZA tackles a jazzy instrumental as he lets fly a dexterous display of lyricism.
It’s no surprise that Benny The Butcher came through to join in the attack, being that he’s developed a healthy habit of bodying featured verses on damn near every lyrically-driven release that hits the streets. It’s a testament to the respect that DZA has built through constant and quality bodies of work, much to the delight of those who still appreciate lyricism and raw, golden-era esque production. On that note, “Stashhouse” immediately conjures up a cinematic tone, evocative of the mafioso hip-hop that was once so ubiquitous in the game.
It’s clear that DZA is a student of that bygone era, and has since built up enough experience to consider himself a leader by example. Though perhaps he's more comfortable flying under the radar, fans would be remiss to let this one fall by the wayside — support Smoke DZA and stream The Hustler’s Catalog 2 now.