Smoke DZA

Smoke DZA

Smoke DZA was born February 8, 1984 at Harlem Hospital in New York City and has lived in New York all his life. The son of two Guyanese immigrants, Smoke was exposed to music at home by his father and fell in love with hip hop at a young age. He grew up listening to and emulating fellow New Yorkers Jay-Z and Notorious BIG. After dropping out of high school to pursue his music career, DZA began battle rapping and has battled fellow Harlem-based rapper J.R. Writer. Smoke DZA decided on his moniker after being influenced by Chris Tucker's character Smokey from the movie Friday and the acronym DZA stands for "Dream Zone Achieve". He was discovered by Jonny Shipes of Cinematic Music Group in 2002 and went on to ghostwrite for numerous rappers, including Hi-Tek. In 2002, he partnered to become one half of the group Smoke & Numbers, until going solo in 2008