Smoke DZA on Old School Harlem Dust Smokers, The Canadian Border Patrol, And Whether 2Pac Is Alive In Cuba


Editor’s note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar will ask local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.

Smoke DZA is the Kushed God. Calling Harlem home, the weed connoisseur rapper has cultivated a fine crop of fans and can boast an army of 65k faithful Twitter followers. Flush from the release of his K.O.N.Y. mixtape earlier this week (which features his Smoker’s Club compatriots Big K.R.I.T. and Joey Bada$$), here’s DZA explaining away his timeline references to the city’s water supply, The Flatbush Zombies, and having problems at the ol’ Canadian border.

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I heard Joey a while ago. He used to be a little kid with a skateboard who used to come and mob at all my shows. He brings a fresh ear; I’m not saying it’s never been done before, but it’s a different angle a kid from his era is attacking. It’s cool and he’s a cool kid.

You re-tweeted a fan quoting a line about 2Pac on “Butta Rice.” Do you really believe he’s alive and in Cuba?

No. That was just me being sarcastic. [Breaks off to talk to a friend.] My brother Steve is right here and he’s like, “Ah, man 2Pac is in Cuba!” 2Pac is not in no fuckin’ Cuba. But I just said that shit to be sarcastic. Shit ain’t never been fuckin’ in Cuba!

Why are there so many conspiracy theories about 2Pac?

Everybody wants to believe. It’s like Jim Hoffa, it’s a theory that he’s buried in Giants Stadium or whatever it is. People want to have conspiracies and theories just because they can.

You tweeted about missing a show recently. What’s the story behind that?

Oh, no, I didn’t say I missed the show by accident, I said I missed to tweet a show by accident! It was just the order of me tweeting it and I missed it. I miss one show in Montreal this last June ’cause of the fuckin’ border.

What happened at the Canadian border?

Well the Canadian border are not too happy with Kushed God. Every time I go through there I have an issue. I’m about to go through there right now and I hope I don’t have an issue. Let’s knock on wood.

You also tour with the Smoker’s Club. What’s the wildest backstage party you’ve seen with them?

I’ma be honest, the Kushed God does not get involved in wild backstage parties. He takes his pot and goes somewhere else. But my brothers do get into a lot of wildness and a lot of extra shit – adventures as you’d call them. All the incidents you can imagine that go on on tour, it happens. I’ve seen a lot of females get kicked off the bus; just the process of them getting kicked off the bus is pretty funny to think about.

Which member of the Smoker’s Club gets the most girls on tour?
I don’t want to throw them out there like that! A lot of these guys have ladies. I know this is the Village Voice so I don’t want it put out there that widely…

You put a picture of yourself with the Flatbush Zombies on Instagram.

Yeah, big fan of the Flatbush Zombies. I like what they bring to the table for New York City. They’re actually the only group that’s in New York City that’s legit to me. No shots to anyone else in New York City that I don’t know, but I think Flatbush Zombies embrace New York City and you have to respect that.

Have you ever given the Zombies any career advice?

I tend to rant a lot when I get with people and rappers and shit… I mean, I don’t know if I gave them any actual advice. They haven’t asked me for any advice but talking sometimes you may say something and someone’s inspired by it and they take that as advice.

You often reference wrestlers, including CM Punk recent. What was that one about?

When I said that about CM Punk the wrestler, I was talking about how his whole angle was fuckin’ shit up of people that don’t respect him and you know he don’t feel like he got the respect that he does. That’s why I made that reference, ’cause I’m fuckin’ shit up until I get the respect I deserve for my time here.

Do most people get all your wrestling references?

Some people do. A lot of people across the world like wresting like myself, but a lot of people write wrestling off. But I don’t do it for them.

When was the first time you saw someone high on angel dust?

First time I saw someone high I didn’t even know it was dust, I thought he was just like that until my mom told me he used to go to school in the neighborhood and his friend was a heavyweight weed smoker. This was around the time my mom found out that I smoked weed and she was a bit shook, like, “People lace the weed with angel dust. Is Mike getting high right now?” He was named Mike and he’s probably still high off angel dust now. The first time I seen somebody high on dust I was about 7-years-old but I didn’t know what it was, but I was about 14 or 15-years-old when my mom told me what it was.

Did your mom yell at you for smoking weed?

By the time I was really smoking weed, I was a little too old to be yelled at. I was pretty much making my own decisions, so as long as I wasn’t doing it in her house I was okay and could always deny it. But after I became Smoke DZA for real, I was like, “Okay mom, I smoke weed.”

You answered a follower’s question by claiming New York City tap water is responsible for your rap talent…

I was just being a jerk! I mean there’s really no question about why I rap so good; I want to be great, that’s why I rap so good.

Do you recommend people drink the tap water in New York then?

Hell no! I will not drink New York tap water!

Who’s the most entertaining person you follow on Twitter?

It’s a toss up between Action Bronson and Curren$y. I’m on both of their timelines, and I hope that people are laughing at their commentary ’cause they’re two funny motherfuckers.

Who’s the most famous person that follows you on Twitter?

Bob Marley’s son, Rohan. A lot of important people follow me on Twitter: Baron Davis from the New York Knicks, Iron Sheik the wrestler, Peter Rosenberg. Shit, I got a lot of stars that follow me.