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Chevy Woods "Though he is always repping his Gang, Chevy Woods is ready to step into the spotlight himself. XXLMag.com would like to make the formal introduction.Smoke DZABrooklyn/Harlem 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 Geneis 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.Joey Bada$$As a youngster, Brooklyn MC Joey BadA$$ was baffled by Nas' 1994 classic Illmatic. The iconic album cover featured a childhood photo of the then 20-year-old God's Son. "I seen him as a kid and I thought he was a kid rapping, I was just confused," Joey told Mixtape Daily. After all, how can a kid that young deliver such impactful and insightful records like "Life's a Bitch" and "The World Is Yours"?
Somewhere along the way, Joey's initial confusion must have led to some sort of inspiration, because at 17 years old, he has already delivered a single that seems to surpass the subject matter of other spitters in his age bracket. The militant-minded "Survival Tactics," borrows its instrumental from the 1998 Styles of Beyond song of the same name.
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