Curren$y spent years spewing out music in a near workman-like approach to hip hop. But now he’s released The Stoned Immaculate, his so-called first real album. It feels largely like a celebration of everything ‘Spitta’ has been doing throughout his career with an extra bit of braggadocio for the fact that he’s straight blowing up. The internet is coming apart at the seams with love for the New Orleans native’s brand of green-friendly stylings and his label/crew Jet Life is now a Warner Bros. imprint.
“Privacy Glass” shows Curren$y ruminating on that success–a theme that dominates the album–and musing over the luxuries of fame:
And I usually don’t ride like this
but lately I’ve been on some whole other shit
and I usually don’t ride like this
Privacy tinted, professionally driven
The very next song, “Armoire“, sets another tone: success, for Curren$y, is nothing but a little more of the lifestyle he’s had for years: money, video games, cars, and women:
Still at it, Jet Set mathematics
I’m from the city of choppers, clappers, and levee crackage
All levels completed, bitch I’m all-Madden
Smoking out the E-class wagon
Over a thumping Monsta Beatz beat with middle eastern influences, Curren$y creates a daze to get lost in as he explains how “this rap shit just [his] hustle, baby.” The MC hits his flow and rides it hard, playing his own game and nothing but.
The problem is that the Stoned Immaculate stops developing there, leaving a double-edged sword. “Capitol” makes clear that Spitta is consciously going all-in for a specific niche. His focus is rapping his life honestly:
This Jet Life, don’t scrub, you blot that
Flow rugs in the Porsche, I’m out front got my top back
Label me a author, forefounder of lifestyle rap
His brand of ‘lifestyle rap’ gives him his credibility and his vicious style–but when your daily concerns are keeping stains out of floor mats, it sort of doesn’t matter anymore. However refreshing it is that Curren$y refrains from any gangster fronting, he often drifts into tiring and downright suburban shtick. It’s only a few songs into the album before a change of pace becomes absolutely necessary–and yet never comes. The worst happens on “Showroom“, with perhaps the least hard line ever recorded in rap:
I’m Words with Friends whole time in-flight wireless
Email full of condo prices
Marble or granite
kitchen islands, home stylings
Nonetheless, the album’s stand-outs come from the same place. The album rides more or less the same tempo throughout, but stylistic variations in the beats provide a shifting backdrop that lets the rapper’s safety zone occasionally appear interesting anew. Monsta Beatz lays down another such track for the MC to give a big middle finger to his haters on “Sunroof“. “No Squares” uses an epic production to display Curren$y’s swagger on a victory lap with fellow stoner Wiz Khalifa.
But “Chasin Papers” shows Curren$y in the best light (against the weirdly off-putting honesty of “That’s the Thing“). A cut-up sample from guest Pharrell and the Neptunes gives Spitta plenty to bite into and he takes the chance, showing himself as more than a home decor rapper:
I know what it’s like to want it all
I was born to ball
Makin’ Lamborghini engine sounds pedaling my bike
Lusted at luxury life since a tyke
Curren$y will only ever be the guy chasin’ paper with a rolling paper in his pocket. It’s alternatively infuriating and infatuating–but more often the latter.