Curren$y has released four solo studio albums, four collaborative studio albums and twenty-one mixtapes since 2004. He is a productive entertainer, constantly in the public eye and frequently featured on songs by other artists. He appears on “Don’t Shoot,” the Michael Brown memorial song, and over the past few years he has done joint projects with Smoke DZA, Young Roddy, Harry Fraud, Styles P and many others. Yes, Spitta Andretti is a weed rapper, and his name will forever be intertwined with that of Wiz Khalifa (to whom a shoutout is given in the introduction to this mixtape; “I want to take this time to congratulate my brother Wiz on his number one album,” a reference to Blacc Hollywood).
For these reasons, Curren$y is a name which, for me, says more about the artists he’s affiliated with than about the man himself. His style, more or less consistent throughout the years, can come off nicely (as on the chiefly Ski Beatz produced Pilot Talk albums or the mixtapes Verde Terrace and The Drive In Theater from earlier this year), but doesn’t work on other occasions. Recently, he’s taken to making mixtape EPs, generally no more than seven or eight songs in length, which allow him a restricted and shorter venue to work in.
That’s the case with Saturday Night Car Tunes, a new mixtape of just over twenty-six minutes which serves to make more of a quip than a statement. The seven tracks presented here (including an introduction and a remix of Theater‘s “10 G’s“) are a reminder of Curren$y’s presence and ability, smoky songs which leave a small impression like someone opening their car door and smacking it against yours.
“Night Like This” is a pompous yet mildly reflective rap song that lets Curren$y and guests Rich Boy and Tiny C Style spit game about driving cars through the city after dark, smoking weed as the wheels turn you down another half-lit street, horn samples and a bit of G-funk synthesizer in the background during the chorus. It’s a tighter and more cohesive tune than “Just Might Be,” the beat of which takes overplayed vocal jazz samples and intentionally dated sounding drum loops to hype up Pilot Talk 3. These are clearly Curren$y songs, but bereft of ingenuity or replay appeal.
Similarly, “Music n History” is more filler than a cheap cigar. The two-minute cut never achieves a goal, ending before it feels like it gets anywhere. By the time it’s over, album closer “Dojo” begins, a jazzy song with gentle piano chords in the background and played out weed raps in the foreground. Wiz Khalifa indulges in a boring guest verse and also provides the chorus here, describing for the millionth time in his career the way in which he smokes marijuana and avoids encounters with the police. It’s a trite, tired song, yet one which seems obligatorily included on such a release. The ubiquitous Wiz Khalifa/Curren$y duo is a facet of both of their careers, yet one which no longer feels fresh, if indeed it ever did.
“House Shoes” is a fun little song, but it’s the remix of “10 G’s” that I consider the best song on this EP. The production is upbeat and lively, Curren$y’s verses are on point and the chorus speaks to my love of making money. Birdman doesn’t embarrass himself here as he has done on certain guest verses in the past, and Gunplay also offers a delightful little verse in which he channels his inner Rick Ross to great effect. Gunplay has been off my radar since his verse on A$AP Rocky’s “Ghetto Symphony,” but this verse has encouraged me to listen to more of his music and look forward to the eventual release of his Bilderburg Group Compilation Volume One.
Bottom line, this is Curren$y. I may revisit a few songs on this mixtape but it doesn’t feel to me like the material from which classics are made. There’s not much new here and at times it feels like a reminder of his past success and an advertisement for his upcoming studio album. His collaborations can be enjoyable when the pairing of artists brings something new to the table; here, the table is still covered with the dishes from his last few meals.