Recording artist Smoke DZA hails from Harlem and is the son of two Guyanese immigrants. After dropping out of high school to pursue a music career, DZA began battle rapping, with highlights that include battling fellow Harlem native J.R. Writer. DZA was ultimately discovered by Jonny Shipes of Cinematic Music Group in 2002, and went on to ghostwrite for numerous artists including Sean Kingston and Hi-Tek. In 2002, he partnered to become one half of the group Smoke & Numbers until going solo in 2008. Since splitting from Smoke & Numbers to purse a solo career, DZA has released a string of album/mixtapes, with his most recent album being Dream.ZONE.Achieve, released under his label, RFC Music Group. Past albums/mixtapes have included George Kush Da Button, Rolling Stoned, Rugby Thompson, K.O.N.Y, and a collaborative EP with Currensy titled The Stage. His album Rolling Stoned was awarded the High Times Doobie Award for Hip-Hop Album of the Year in 2011.
DZA has recorded with Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Rocky, Big K.R.I.T., and various other artists. Additionally, he has toured North America alongside Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Snoop Dogg, and Method Man.
DZA cites fellow New York natives Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G. as his main musical influences. Often classified as a “weed rapper,” on the contrary, DZA considers himself a lifestyle artist and shies away from just verses centered around solely smoke.
Currently, DZA owns a lifestyle clothing brand called Munchees that embodies everything “cool” from Harlem fashion to the latest images in hip hop. Munchees Clothing, founded in 2013, was created as a segue to relay his blunt-rolling persona through up-to-the-minute clothing.