Curren$y has a new mix tape available for download called The Drive in Theatre. I recommend it. The record is a return to loose jazz loops and picturesque raps set over Godfather samples. Add in a ton of potent guest verses and The Drive in Theatre went right to the CD player of my automobile.
“Godfather Four” with Action Bronson is pretty strong. So is “E.T.” (a collaboration with B-Real) that gives Curren$y a chance to talk the lifestyles of the rich and stoned and B-Real a chance to confirm his own Godfather status. “Vintage Vineyard,” “Stolen,” “El Camino,” are all solid portraits of the elite life.
“Grew up in this” matches Spitta with Gary Indiana’s Freddie Gibbs (the hardman’s hardman) and Young Roddy. The result are three nice verses about struggling.
Check out The Drive in Theatre it’s a strong effort and worth downloading.
I cheer for a couple of rappers who have successfully avoided beef. I know that a lot of people still make money through simple controversy, but I wanted to acknowledge a couple of rappers who took the classy road.
I’ve been listening to Big K.R.I.T.’s Return to 4eva all day long. Check out “Sookie Now,” the spicy track that K.R.I.T. rocks with fellow Mississippian David Banner.
You might remember David Banner back when he was rapping and scaring folks as a Southern political rapper. Or perhaps you are one of those liberals who remembers him as the rapper who drove a tractor trailer of water and supplies to New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. Either way, he is an absolute boss, and for a rapper coming up in Mississippi he had to be the paragon.
K.R.I.T. invites him on the track, gives him props in interviews — does what a gracious up-and-comer should do with an elder. Pay his damn respect. The result on “Sookie Now” is just awesome. Banner’s verse is blood-chilling.
(Thanks and props to The Smoking Section one of the best hip hop blogs running.)
Curren$y spent time on a couple of labels before meeting up with an appreciative audience. His time with Lil’ Wayne and Young Money resulted in some great tracks. “Poppin’ bottles” and “Where the cash at?” on Dedication 2 are standouts. Despite leaving the label and setting up his own projects, Curren$y passed on every opportunity to attack Lil Wayne and his folks.
I hear some bitterness on the tracks of “Independence day,” but they aren’t explicit Lil’ Wayne slams — they are complaints about the industry.
I guess I’ll add Gucci and Waka to this conversation and note that despite various potential provocation they have never turned on each other that I know about it. Ferarri Boyz get’s a solid 3.5 from this fan — it’s a solid undertaking. But kudos to continuing to build with each other.
Respect to the emcees who take the high road. Those emcees who simply step past the petty bullshit and make good music.
It isn’t any secret, I think Curren$y is the best emcee doing his thing right now.
Here is my short list of why y’all should embrace the Curren$y Spitta and buy his new record Weekend at Burnies.
Vancouver rioters after the NHL loss. Gotta admit these guys would look a lot more cool flashing the 'jet plane' hand sign, right?
1. Awkward hip hop fans need something better to do with their hands. We know that most people who listen to hip hop are really awkward rather than cool (myself included). (Hop hop artists, on the other hand, are quite cool). Hip hop offered many non-gang affiliates the chance to have something to do with their hands. Almost all of the ‘west coast,’ ‘east coast,’ pistol signs, or mimicking of supposed crip twisting of fingers is a terrible look.
Admittedly, most of us know Curren$y’s hand sign (which mimics the flying jet) as the ‘hang loose’ hand sign. In Hawaii, it’s known as shaka — a polycultural vaguely corporate ‘greeting with the aloha spirit.” Hey, there are worse things to throw up.
2. Curren$y and his crew seem to be working hard to get better.
I love the arrogant rappers, but it is refreshing to hear someone simply confident in their abilities. Curren$y writes rhymes that don’t alienate the listener with cleverness. He models working at his craft — practicing writing better smooth rhymes. As a result of their work, he and his jets crew: Young Roddy and Trademark the Skydiver, are getting better at not only rhyming, but also sounding better. Witness the enjoyable punch lines and nicely timed pause in Trademark’s verse on “Still” above.
3. Weed songs vs. coke songs or representations of wealth in a depression. Curren$y rhymes about smoking pot. A lot. Living in Humboldt county, this isn’t all that strange to me. Lets put Curren$y’s rhymes about cannabis in the context of the prevailing hip hop culture for self-expression about substances.
You could argue that expressing love for particular substances is part of selling yourself as an emcee. Most commercially successful artists have identified substance use as part of their image through lyrics and album covers. In the case of most so-called gangsta rappers, the discussion is often tied to cocaine trafficking (Gucci Mane, Clipse, Young Jeezy, Dipset, Jay-Z, E-40, Eazy-E, Ghostface Killah, and so on.) This creates a fascinating language used most often to communicate wealth. Lifestyles of the rich and famous articulated in bricks, kilos, birds, scales, Tony Montana . . .
In the artificially inflated economy of the early 2000s, these cocaine rhymes matched up nicely with the garish wealth of a society manifested in colonial wars and represented by an expressly “business-friendly” government. Those years also meant the rise of a massive police state, prisons, and new laws against gang offenses. One reason we keep alive the stories of outlaw dope dealers in rapping is because we live in a society that is increasingly controlled and policed — the idea that some people get to get away with it is immensely reassuring to non-outlaw folks.
Don’t get me wrong — Curren$y is still selling status, wealth and power in his rhymes. Curren$y isn’t rapping about selling drugs, instead he rhymes about how much he has to smoke. I think he has adjusted to the economic realities of a society in a depression and provided a slightly more inviting series of symbols for that power.
4. He sounds good, and has a back catalog worth examining. If you get Weekend at Burnies and find it works for you, here are the rest of my Curren$y recommendations in order.
First –> mixtape: Independence day
Second –> mixtape: Covert Coup
Third –> album Pilot Talk II
Fourth –> mixtape Fear and Loathing in New Orleans
Fifth –> mixtape return to the winners circle
sixth –> mixtape Smokee Robinson
seventh –> album Pilot talk I
You can easily add in the other affiliated projects, I like the “Jet Life to the next life” mixtape, and the wiz/Curren$y mixtape “How fly.”
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