Harlem/Brooklyn team Smoke DZA and producer Harry Fraud created all the songs on DZA’s new album, Rugby Thompson, from scratch, eschewing back-and-forth emails for actual studio time together, presumably spent bullshitting, brainstorming and coughing up major tokes. DZA adores weed throughout Rugby Thompson, which you can preorder now from the recording arm of 4/20-friendly magazine High Times, but the record’s not stuck on the stoner’s dorm room couch. Jumping from airy barbecue horns, classical uptown playground storytelling and occasional pulsing with the stadium guitars, it’s full of youthul, scrappy energy. On the latest track, “Ashtray,” Fraud weaves a bragging line from 2 Chainz’ ubiquitous “Spend It” into a gnarly, crawling beat, with foggy keys cut by delicate skittering drums, fat claps and deep-stomach growls. Joined by previous collaborator Domo Genesis and fellow bucket hat enthusiast Schoolboy Q, DZA sounds like he’s chanting the chorus with his face scrunched into a wacky knot. Rugby Thompson comes out June 19th.
Stream: Smoke DZA f. Domo Genesis and Schoolboy Q, “Ashtray” (Prod. by Harry Fraud)