Rapper Gotham Green and DJ/producer Quickie Mart may smoke a lot of weed, but it hasn’t cut down on their productivity. This is the duo’s third album this year, and it’s not like they are skimping. There are 18 tracks here, only one of which is a skit. Three albums in twelve months is hardly the work of slackers. The duo are based in El-dot-ay-dot, but have been around the country. Green originated in New York, Quickie Mart in New Orleans, and they spent time in Austin. The different places they’ve lived shows up in their sound: some East Coast grit and boom bap, a little Southern flavor, and a healthy dose of West Coast stoner rap.
Quickie Mart controls the boards throughout, channeling 9th Wonder, DJ Premier, and maybe even fellow weed fiend Madlib. There are lots of cut up soul samples and beats with healthy, heavy bottoms. This is hip hop perfect for lazy summer days, for cruising in your car driving around and going nowhere, and trying to not think about how hot it is.
Freddie Gibbs channels Bun B and ‘Pac on “Tell Me Something,” rapping “I’m busting back at the police/Bitch I ain’t got a day to waste.” His verses are the high point of “Haze Diaries Vol. 3,” but iCON the Mic King, Planet Asia, El Prez, and Tunji all hold their own on their tracks. In fact, this is a case where the features are the highlight of the album, and the tracks with guest rappers are a cut above the rest of the songs. Gotham Green is an ok rapper, but he’s not on the same level as Gibbs or Planet Asia.
Part of it is that Green spends way too much time rapping about smoking weed. I get it, you like pot, but how many times and in how many different ways can you say it? After the third song about bloodshot eyes I began to feel like I had heard it all before. Gotham is better when he gets off the weed tip, like on “The Five Families” and “Tape the Room Up,” which both deal with crime, or “Me, I’m On That,” in which he raps about the trials and tribulations of the hip hop game over a grimey beat.
Gotham Green and Quickie Mart probably could combine the best parts of “Haze Diaries” 1-3 to make ONE solid album, but these days it’s all about constantly putting product out there. As it is, “Haze Diaries 3” isn’t an amazing album, but offers enough moments to make it worth the $5 price tag. If you like West Coast hip hop, East Coast beats, or weed, you’ll want to check out “Haze Diaries.”