Jonah Bromwich is on standby to join the J.E.T.S.
Here we go again. It’s early in the year and Curren$y is on his grind, releasing an EP as casually as you or I would decide to drop an extra twenty-five cents into the Salvation Army bucket. Here is typically excellent: beat selection on point with features over “Drive Slow,” “Bring it On,” “The Commission,” and Afu-Ra’s “The Equality,” punchlines so sharp you could use them to unclog your pipe.
Haters get the standard amount of non-attention as Spitta notes that they “got the tight face, lookin’ Joan Rivers” and that he “would’ve put you down if you wasn’t such a clown.” As usual, we get the sublime elements of an enviable lifestyle. The trumpets from “Bring it On” add the requisite swagger to the background of “What Da Fuck” and when Curren$y slips into Reasonable Doubt-era Jay flow, he’s so smooth that on the first go-round it’s actually difficult to identify the cadence as originally belonging to Jay.
Elsewhere, on “Livin,” Curren$y tips the valet a fifty and a joint (“that’s my little homie”) and lets him light up in the car, describes the joy in seeing his mother enjoy the money while still playing cards with her friends. He tells us that he calls shots from “a solid gold rotary phone” a hilariously overdone accessory that somehow doesn’t seem out of place.
As everyone’s noted time and time again, Curren$y has an incredible eye for detail, and a talent for description that can elevate what would otherwise be a generic collection of songs. This is the kind of eye that calmly notes “drunk models leaving the bar legs all wobbly” or sees the girl he’s with, rolling, feeling the fabric on the car seats, and just knows that he’s going to “do my thing and write about it in the morning” – a fly on the wall as much as he’s a part of the action.
He’s also got a talent for reintroducing clichés in a more acceptable format. On Here, we get Cormac Mccarthy reinterpreted with “no country for quitters” while Spitta puts so much extra space after “when the going gets tough” that by the time he gets to the tough getting going, we’re craving it. It’s a great way to simultaneously play with and appease an audience’s expectation.
That balance between crowd-piquing and crowd-pleasing is one that Curren$y has mastered. He gives his audience what they want, but he always seems to be doing that in a slightly different way. Never before has the term “weed rapper” been both completely apt and massively reductionist. As much as I enjoy the rest of Jet Life (Roddy is probably my favorite sidekick), the crew’s blunted truisms help to show what sets their pilot apart.
When I first listened to Here, I wanted a little bit more, perhaps a return to the committed narrative that we saw on “She Don’t Want a Man.” But when you delve into these songs, there are pockets of story all over the place, so much so that any particular song becomes an effective portrayal of one man’s life. Here is a good title; Curren$y brings us into his world and it’s such a fun place to be that it’s hard to even notice the skill it took to get us there.
ZIP: Curren$y – Here EP (Left-Click)