EXCLUSIVE: Smoke DZA Explains Why You’ll Never See Him In A Battle Rap League Or On ‘Love & Hip Hop’


(AllHipHop Features) In the first part of my interview with Smoke DZA, the Harlem based rhymer talked about his new album He Has Risen with Harry Fraud. For the second half of the Q&A, DZA discusses his past as a battle rapper and why fans will not see him participating in the new era of that form of Hip Hop any time soon.

Facing off against Hollow Da Don, Dizaster, or Daylyt is not in the near future for DZA, and it appears jumping in front of the camera for “ratchet” reality television is out of the question as well. The Kushed God shares his thoughts on avoiding the Love & Hip Hop franchise but being open to following in the TV footsteps of Clifford “T.I.” Harris.

[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Smoke DZA Talks ‘He Has Risen’ Joint Album With Harry Fraud, NYC Hip Hop, & Expanding His Film Career]

You used to battle rap, and you have a connection to Dot Mob. Are you interested in jumping into that culture now like Joe Budden and Cassidy?

Hell no! That sh*t is dusty. That some last leg sh*t. That’s equivalent to going to Love & Hip Hop. No disrespect to the guys that pioneered that thing like the Murda Mooks of the world – who happens to be a good friend of mine – but hell no. I’m not interested in getting back into that.

I was battling before battling was commercial. This is before SMACK DVDs and The Come Up DVDs. This is pre-camcorder, before sh*t was getting publicized. I was battling when it was a feeling in the street.

This is my high school days. I went to Brandeis. Anybody that went to school in New York City in the early 2000’s knows about Louis D Brandeis, probably one of the worst schools in New York City. That was my stomping ground. I’m not even one of those guys that’s like, “I’m a super tough street n*gga.” But you had to be some kind of tough n*gga to survive at Brandeis.

My talent took me a long way. I was battling then. My guidance counselor used to pay for my studio time. I was put on shows to battle kids from other schools that came looking for me. That was the feeling.

So we shouldn’t expect to see you on Smack or King Of The Dot anytime soon, huh? [laughs]

[laughs] You will never see me on none of them sh*ts unless I’m there watching, and if I’m there watching it’s probably for a Murda Mook battle. He’s the Floyd Mayweather of that sh*t.

Do you think Drake’s ever going to step up and take that challenge?

I doubt it.

You said battling for you is like doing Love & Hip Hop. So reality TV is out for you too?

Hell yeah! I got offers for sh*t like that too. You got to be a certain kind of individual for that. I’m not built for that. I’m not willing to auction my life for that. I’m way more classy than that.

What about a scripted show like Empire?

That’s different. That’s acting. Even with Love & Hip Hop, it’s acting, but it’s not considered acting because they’re trying to promote it as something real. So a lot of lives get misconstrued in all of this, like my man Peter Gunz. That’s my big homie. But even with it being scripted, you got to be able to embrace the hate. Everybody can’t embrace the hate. Everybody’s family can’t embrace the hate either. That’s definitely not for me.

But if it’s on a scripted level like an Empire or Power, or even if it was a reality TV show like what Tip is doing with [The Family Hustle],  I would be interested in that kind of reality TV. It’s homely and not ratchet. Anything that’s not ratchet television, where I could get my kids to be superstars and people could see how my wife blacks on me, that would be cool. But other than that, I’m content with not being involved with no f*ckery. I’m no f*ckery DZA.

[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Kxng Crooked Talks Collaborating With Statik Selektah, Modern Hip Hop Beef & Refusing To Sell His Soul]

Purchase Smoke DZA’s He Has Risen on iTunes.

Follow Smoke DZA on Twitter @smokedza and Instagram @kushedgod.

Stream He Has Risen via Spotify below.