New Orleans’ own Curren$y a.k.a. Spitta Andretti has been on a run for years. Starting at No Limit Records as a 504 Boyz member, then going to Cash Money Records imprint Young Money, then going independent for years. Curren$y’s career has spanned over two decades. Hot Spitta is an anomaly that created his own bubble without bursting into Pop Music, while maintaining a devoted audience. Subject matter full of weed, game, and exquisite lifestyle, Spitta has always stayed true to himself, just being that cool dude from the East Side of New Orleans. When most rappers run out of things to say, he has been able to drop multiple projects in a year without the content feeling redundant. In honor of this legend, I originally wanted to drop a top 5 list, but his catalog is so vast, so it’s nearly impossible to slim it down to 5 without leaving something out. We ended up with a top 10 list of his best projects to date. Here’s the list:
1. Covert Coup
2011’s Covert Coup is arguably Curren$y’s best project and a fan favorite. This project literally has no skips, with an elite list of features that includes Freddie Gibbs, Styles P, Fiend, and Smoke DZA. A memorable feature on the project springs from the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep on “The Type,” with bars that will give you the chills. Spitta never shies away from sparring with his peers on the same track, he keeps up with Prodigy spitting some of his best lines: “Underground jewels testa copping pot, wallet in the wishing well/Evidence, niggas can fail.” Covert Coup showcased his crafty bars infused with elite production solely done by Alchemist. The album started a rapport between Curren$y and Alchemist that will continue over the next decade.
2. How Fly
The sound engineering was not as sophisticated as his later projects became, but How Fly's impact changed the trajectory of rap music. This project was the catalyst for the many collaborations that Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa would produce over the years. How Fly was recorded before Wiz Khalifa became a household name. Though this is a mixtape, the significance it played in both of their careers can’t be ignored. The synergy between Wiz and Spitta is unmatched from the beginning of the mixtape with "Car Service", to the outro, "Rollin Up." During a time of excessive gangster raps from their peers, the rap duo took a different approach with "lifestyle raps", giving rap a breath of fresh air. Content that was neither too tough or too square for its listeners.
3. Pilot Talk
The first installment of Pilot Talk is a classic that catapulted him in the underground rap scene. Pilot Talk has a lot of live instrumentation, intertwining some of his Crescent City flavor. With the help of Dame Dash, Curren$y secured production from the legendary Ski Beats (who produced on Jay-Z’s classic Reasonable Doubt and once was managed by Dame too). Ski Beatz layers the live instruments perfectly around Curren$y’s vocals. A few well-selected classic features from Mos Def, Jay Electronica, Smoke DZA, Stalley, Devin the Dude, and Mikey Rocks. Curren$y even features the Dogfather himself, Snoop Dogg, on the track “Seat Change,” solidifying Spitta as one of the best stoner rappers in the game.
4. Cigarette Boats
Though it is not a full-length project, this EP project did its job. Cigarette Boats is like half a doobie that will still put you on your ass. Whenever Curren$y teams up with Harry Fraud (La Musica De Harry Fraud) for a project, they never let us down. The 5-song EP feels like an action-packed episode of Miami Vice, loading up each track with dope bars, then cruising into the sunset. The project lists his usual collaborators Styles P and Smoke DZA; Smoke DZA is responsible for introducing Spitta to Harry Fraud. Cigarette Boats became an instant classic, XXL publication ended up naming it “2012 EP of the Year”.
5. Stoned Immaculate
Stoned Immaculate was one of his bigger commercial projects, teaming up with Warner Bros. to put out the project. You can tell Spitta had a bigger budget to play with bigger name artists such as 2 Chainz, Wale, and Pharrell. He enlisted heavy hitters on production from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Pharrell. Stoned Immaculate is the usual Curren$y with elite raps with stronger production and features. He probably gets the most vulnerable to date on “That’s the Thing” featuring Estelle, detailing a rocky relationship he’s trying to keep going. Even with pop artist features and production, Curren$y still speaks to his underground audience. Stoned Immaculate proves he can work on a big commercial project if he wants, but he prefers the underground spotlight.
6. Carrollton Heist
Another Alchemist project that went bananas, Carrolton Heist is a masterpiece. Curren$y paints a picture so vivid; he’s like Picasso with the paint brush, “Higher than Saturn’s rings/Living in the clouds before I stepped aboard the plane/Gourmet cheddar trays and champagne.” Alchemist meshes old movie dialogue playing in the background with sounds and samples butchered together like. Alchemist is like a wizard how he crafts instrumentals around Curren$y’s vocals. “Smoking In The Rain” is burned into my brain, a distinct high pitch voice singing in the background, Curren$y catching pockets to rap in, showing why they call him “Hot Spitta”. For a mixtape, this project had some heavy-hitting features such as Action Bronson, Styles P, and not to mention Lil Wayne. Carrolton Heist was so good they recently released a remixed version of the mixtape with an All Star cast of producers.
7. Weekend At Burnie's
Weekend At Burnie's was a very laid-back album produced by Monstabeatz, with Curren$y’s trademarked effortless flow. The album has a lot of standout tracks including “#JETSGO,” “Money Machine,” and “Still” featuring his Jet Life artist Trademark the Skydiver. He shows off his versatility with the beat selection from going melodic on “She Don’t Want A Man,” then switching to an upbeat instrumental on “You See It.” Weekend At Burnie's was a very underrated album when it was released, his fans usually get pissed whenever he releases commercial studio albums.
8. Drive in Theatre
This shit was a movie, literally Godfather dialogue playing as skits. Curren$y opens up strong with “Godfather Four” featuring the wordsmith, Action Bronson. The producer, Thelonius Martin, set the backdrop for Spitta’s bars, along with Cooking Soul. Packed with illustrious flows, this tape doesn’t miss. Drive In Theatre was sprinkled with features from B Real, LE$, Action Bronson, and Styles P. One his jazzier albums, with his bars detailing a man that reached the pinnacle of his rap career enjoying being on top of the game and self reflection; like he describes in “Vintage Vineyard”.
9. New Jet City
Infused with the hustle spirit, New Jet City provides a soundtrack for the hustlers to drive around to. Solid production from Thelonious Martin, Cardo, and Statik Selektah. With more buoyant instrumentals, it’s contrary to Curren$y’s usual selection of jazzy/chill beats. One of his best songs, “Mary,” was included on this project, detailing his love for Mary Jane and giving life advice on how to become successful in your own endeavors. New Jet City includes fellow New Orleans rapper, Juvenile, making a feature on “Bitch Get Up”. It’s usually definite for Spitta to have a feature with LOX members Styles P or Jadakiss, but it’s a surprise when both are on the same project. “Clear” featuring Jadakiss and “Drive” feat Styles P are no exceptions, the articulacy they bring to their bars is an amazing thing to hear. Curren$y’s adaptability with the features are impressive, featuring people from singer Lloyd to French Montana.
10. Pilot Talk II
The second time was a charm for the Pilot Talk series. Ski Beats comes in the clutch again with some funky production that fits Curren$y like a glove. Not as much features as the first Pilot Talk, but Spitta’s verses are just as nice if not better. Standout tracks include “Michael Knight,” “Airborne Aquarium,” and a fan favorite, “Famous,” which includes a Sade sample from “Sally” off the 1984 hit album Diamond Life. Raekwon The Chef makes a rare appearance on the remix of Michael Knight showing that Raekwon can make another Purple Tape if he wants. Critics complain that Curren$y only talks about weed, but he also discusses ownership and the finer things in life like he does on “Real Estates,” featuring an early Dom Kennedy chanting, “Oceans in the back, Porches in the front.” Pilot Talk II is a great follow-up to a classic album.