Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best of 2010: #6 Curren$y - Pilot Talk

“Obstacles are obstacle illusions, we don’t see ‘em.”

Curren$y should’ve been over years ago. A No Limit soldier well after that was cool, then signed to Young Money and jumped ship right before Wheezy reached critical mass, he should’ve been forgotten a long time ago. But when everyone zigged he zagged, and his gift for word play and his laid back vibe are excellent counter programming to the more bloated hip hop populating the mainstream.

Pilot Talk, grounded by the production of Ski Beatz (underused himself since his landmark work on Reasonable Doubt), is cohesive and smart where so many others are attempting to be everything to everyone. Smart enough to be backpack, but floss enough to match all the big names, Curren$y taps into post-Kanye “brain-stream hip-hop” without over selling his intellectual bona fides(ahem… Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, and to a lesser extent Drake).

The rhymes here don’t unearth some new untapped subject matter, but all the hip-hop clichés are attacked from stranger, smarter angle. His “killer weed” is “Alfred Hitchcock in a zip-lock.” His raps are “Eagle Droppings, [he clarifies] Fly Shit.” He flies Jets, hangs with women, but he also downloads updates for his videogames.

Curren$y and Ski Beatz even managed to get in a Pilot Talk II before the year ran out that at least matches it’s predecessor for excellent work. But the mission statement on the first was so wholly satisfying that a sequel felt, mostly, like a much deserved victory-lap.

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