Saturday, November 13, 2010

Currensy "Welcome to the Winner's Circle"

After five mixtapes it’s nice to say that their is finally one that I really enjoy front to back. Maybe it’s just my love for Seattle’s favorite boutique that Spitta unintentionally shouts out with the title, but Welcome to The Winner’s Circle is 18 tracks of awesomeness. Unlike most of the previous tapes featuring a wide array of industry beats, this one features beats that all fit within a mood. I recognize some but not all, wish that mixtapes came with production credits, ha.

The mood here is comfortable. While the first two tapes in the monthly series didn’t feel like they were projects so much as random songs thrown together, this one plays through like an album. He recruits Nate Dogg for a hook (or maybe that‘s jacked too?) over some subtle drums and muted horns. Currensy does a good job of explaining what makes him him.

I’ve complained about his constant focus on material items through the tapes we’ve looked at so far. This one doesn’t shy away from that like he has as of late, but it does mellow it out. He isn’t bragging any longer, nor is he trying to push a gangster persona. With “Bubble Gum Gangstas” he goes in on the classic Jay beat from “Imaginary Players.” Currensy addresses the fakes who front on record, he’s addressed his own guilt of this on wax already, it’s cause for a chuckle but he makes a good point when he says he’s gonna sit back and enjoy his good guy image.

Kick back and enjoy the good life seems to be what he has done. He lost the overly seriousness, the hard facade, rolled up a few more planes, got down with his homies who were on the same wavelength and started making music for himself. Roddy and Trademark are here in full effect, I can’t hate on either of em, they never appear enough to really judge what they can do, but as far as guest bars go they handle their own all the time. Fiend is still popping up which is awesome, their chemistry is obvious and it has been since the No Limit era.

2008 sounds about right in my head for when the streetwear culture had hit it’s boiling point and Currensy is embracing it fully here. He’s always been about gear, but shouts out to Neako, BAPE, the Hundreds, Rocksmith, and others throughout the tape is a new reach. It could be his excitement of looking at these companies as peers given he had just inked a clothing deal for Fly Society at the time of recording this. Wonder where those clothes ended up?

Welcome to The Winner’s Circle is a mixtape from a rapper who has learned some things from time spent in the industry. While it’s not his first tape to be wholly listenable it is his first one that is wholly him. Gone are the leftover tracks, gone is the confusion of how to approach a project that you have sole control over. The best moments of all his previous work and what’s carrying him today is his ability to make people connect with him. He’s found this quality here and experimenting in all the right ways over beats that connect sonically.

Download the tape here.

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