Anytime we can get a joint project with Wiz Khalifa, Smoke DZA, and Big K.R.I.T., we are in luck. The ten-song project Full Court Press links three of the most influential blog era artists with one goal: Making melodic music for the spring.
A decade and a half ago, rap blogs were king, introducing the world to some of the rap game’s biggest new talents. Wiz, KRIT, and Smoke DZA came on the scene, introduced the world to their sound and etched out their own lanes. Wiz’s 2010 mixtape, Kush and OJ, Krit’s KRIT WUZ Here, and DZA’s George Kush Da Bottom, were among the most praised. Their projects reintroduced the stoner aesthetic that groups like Cypress Hill and Luniz used before them and brought in a stylistic change of easygoing vibes and melodies to complement the look.
Their projects led to mainstream success and flipped the paradigm for listeners used to grimier and abrasive production by bringing in samples from pop and rock. You can hear their influences with artists like Tyler the Creator, Larry June, Amine, Goldlink, and Isaiah Rashad, whose music immediately fits into everyone’s summer streaming playlist. Most of all, their success made it possible for the next wave of artists—but they still remain relevant themselves.
Since they came on the scene, the trio has worked closely with each other, touring together under the Smoker’s Club umbrella, and on songs like “Only One” and “Santos House Party“. With the influx of newer rappers borrowing from the playbooks they used a decade ago, it was more imperative than ever that they reemerge on the scene.
Full Court Press , produced by Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis), shines because it allows each player to do what they do best. Songs like “Put You On”, “Ready for Love” “Everyday” and “No Singles” allow each player to showcase their court skills as they each verbally score and distribute verses over soulful samples and beats. Wiz’s effortless flow, K.R.I.T.’s melodic harmony, and Smoke DZA’s composed tone all mesh together to create a ride-worthy project for the spring and summer season.
One of the album’s strengths lies in how well newer songs mirror their classics. “Ready for Love’s” composition could easily blend with Wiz’s song, “We’re Done” off Kush and OJ the same way K.R.I.T’s “Fly the Coop” could blend with “Glass House” off KRIT Wuz Here. Even Girl Talk’s production brings to mind the artistic creativity of producers like Cardo and Sledgren, who also is from Pittsburgh.
“For me, it was a breath of fresh air. It was the kind of album where we didn’t have to worry about the pressure of a label. It reminded me of why I started and the feel of that,” says K.R.I.T.
For longtime fans of the three, the project is a welcomed return to the aspects of their catalogs we all appreciated and a needed introduction to a generation of listeners who may be unfamiliar with their influence. Wiz’s sound pays homage to his peers and mentors, including Curren$y and Snoop, just like Smoke DZA’s sound does with Devin the Dude, and KRIT’s with Pimp C and others.
Dope music still remains timeless, no matter the era.