Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Currensy "Smokee Robinson"

While the world debates which Pilot Talk is better (next couple days will see my opinions on the matter published) and where Currensy is taking us with the series I could see how it might be easy to forget about his mixtape with Don Cannon from early in the year. Smokee Robinson dropped with a fair bit of fervor, his first since the seven in as many months during 2008 and his free follow up to the two strictly digital releases in 2009. There was no talk of BluRoc, Dame, Creative Control videos, or Ski Beatz - but there were fresh and familiar faces over a splattering of smoothed out beats.

In traditional mixtape fashion Spitta rocks over a number of industry beats throughout the tape, with a few notable exceptions. “Smash On O’Leary” is sheer brilliance. The beat is incredible, uptempo with crazy shifts and changes, super heavy drums. “I Don’t Fucks With Em” seems Nipsey teaming up with the joint brothers - Wiz only handles the hook but handle he does. The track is on some perfect West coast smoking and riding music and if you know these guys you know they handle that kind of tune with ease.

Currensy is no stranger to how the West gets down and he grabs a few classics to rock over. “187 On A Beat” seems him going in on that Snoop/Dre collab. Sporadically Currensy spits lines that show a much nerdier side to the man than any label would want from a rapper - this song features such bars. He also turns Ross’ “Maybach Music” into “Monte Carlo Music” to fess his love for classic cars, weed, and girls.

I don’t know if Spitta was the first to be claiming he used his Louis Vuitton pouch to hold his trees but he was the first I heard and on “Damier Doobies” you just hear some highed up story telling that is hilarious and clever. Throughout Smokee Robinson Currensy is at his most ambicable. This was the tape that introduced me to him, and it sucked me in thoroughly. There is something about Currensy that is instantly like-able and not stand offish.

Smokee Robinson hints at nothing that was to come in the months after it’s release from Currensy - a rarity in the mixtape driven rap world today. It’s place the project in an interesting position to have been created purely out of the desire to create. No pressures. The music reflects it, from the tracks with the Jets and their monstrous appeal that screams turn me up and just enjoy this shit to his pairing with Dom Kennedy on “Racing Stripes” and Wiz and Nipsey on “Mazaltov” a classically smoothed out instrumental that’s pretty minimal but features just the right effect dropped in to make it hit. Just some young emcees making music and having fun.

Of course there is him rocking over Kanye's "Last Call" to close out the tape with those haunting lines "Here's to the Roc" - was he trying to tell us something? Jets fool. Download here.

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