Curren$y Talks Low Riders, Weed Rap, and His Upcoming Pilot Talk 3
Shopping for rims with Curren$y, AKA Spitta Andretti.
Photo by Reid Rolls
Curren$y's cool just can't be matched. Even if he tutored you himself.
It's effortless, as his raps about weed, cars, and women, with the occasional off-cadence flow.
Still, many fans (who he has been able to amass since the inception of Lil Wayne's Young Money Records, when the internet mixtape craze was still on an upward trend) attempt the stunt as they flock by the dozens to his shows, city by city, state to state.
See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper
TicketsSun., Jul. 30, 7:30pm
TicketsSun., Jul. 30, 8:00pm
Straight No Chaser and Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox
TicketsTue., Aug. 1, 7:30pm
TicketsFri., Aug. 4, 7:00pm
Symphony of the Americas 26th Anniversary Summerfest
TicketsSat., Aug. 5, 7:00pm
New Times: Who was the better pilot? Snoopy? Maverick from Top Gun? Elroy Jetson? Anakin Skywalker? Star Fox? Or Han Solo?
Curren$y: Star Fox. He had to deal with a lot of fuckin' bozos, man. Slippy? You know what I'm saying? Maverick had Goose, this guy had Slippy. He had to defend the whole world. Maverick had to defend America.
Did you celebrate Mardi Gras this year?
Ehhhh. I told people, "Happy Mardi Gras," but I hung out in the house. It was cold and raining earlier that day. My brother and my manager, they ride the float, the Zulu float, every year. I was there in spirit.
What was it that got you into the low rider scene?
A Mardi Gras parade that I went to when I was, like, maybe 9. That was the first one I ever saw in person. The dude had a '68 Impala at a parade and parked it on the sidewalk and he hit the switches and everybody was losing it. I asked my mom if I could go across the street. She said it was cool, so I walked up to him and he hit the switches some more. And I asked him some questions. I guess I asked him too many questions, because he had a Low Rider magazine in his car and he gave it to me. He was like, "Bruh, everything you need to know is going to be right in here. When you get your car, I'ma still be out here. Do your thing, little man. Stay in school." From that point, it was on. I liked music already, and when the low riders led into the music videos, I was ready.
This is kind of how I decided who my favorite rappers and things were. Eazy-E wasn't just having low riders in his videos, he really was swinging. He was himself from the door and shit, and that's the stuff I pride myself on being able to do. I wouldn't want to be somebody that just fakes it. Motherfuckers will walk around with skateboards that can't skate.
See also: Hip-Hop's Ten Best Crews of All Time
A few years ago you said in an interview with GQ that you didn't like what was happening with weed rap. How do you feel about it now?
What I said is that I didn't like that it existed, that genre, because I don't feel that's a fair classification for any of the people that they put in that category. If you look at that category, it's like me, Wiz, fucking Smoke DZA. OK, Smoke DZA's name starts with smoke, but there's smoke from fire, there's smoke from cars, there's smoke from all type of shit. He doesn't just talk about weed. He's talking about stuff that's going on. He's raising a family. He's rapping about all that. I talk about cars whenever I rap about weed. They don't call me a car rapper. So I don't really think that should be a genre. That's all I've ever said. I don't like the fact that it exists, because if that's the case, I'm a Chevrolet rapper.
Speaking of Chevys: box or a bubble?
I have both right now. So I guess we're going to go, yeah, we'll do '96 bubble. Nine six. Shift in the floor. Otherwise, we're going to go box. We can do like a two-door Caprice all day. You can't beat a '96 Impala.
You have to be one of the most laid-back individuals in entertainment. But is there anything that gets you riled up?
Just stuff involving my car. I just had to do the fucking Money Mitch. When Money Mitch was like, "Yo, no more money till you find that man, b. This is fuckin' Harlem." Just clapped his hands and ran niggas off the steps. If you lean on my car, you can get that fa sho. Like, serious, I've had to do that.
I've been to a couple of your shows down in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and they always sell out. What do you think it is about you that draws crowds to your shows?
Yeah, that's crazy. It's a blessing. Man, honestly, bruh, I don't know. I think it's just the fact that we all kick it. Everybody is genuinely tight. I fuck with everybody that come out. It's not really like a concert per se. It's like you went to watch your homeboy play basketball. You went to watch him drop 40. You know he's going to kill it, so you went. And maybe you bring somebody who brings somebody who doesn't know him, because you like, "Come watch this kid." So motherfuckers just bring people through. That's why I always sell out. Even if some people like, "I went to three shows," but they brought somebody, and maybe they don't go to the next one, but the person they brought is now a fan, and they probably brought somebody.
See also: Music's Five Dumbest Marketing Trends
What are five tips you can give to be as cool as you?
Do only what you want to do. Always evolve your style, because when you doing what you want to do, people are going to copy, so you should always be able to sharpen it up and change it up a little bit to maintain yourself. I always tell people to never share their ideas, which is almost contradicting this statement, because I'm telling motherfuckers how to be sharp as long as you don't share your ideas with people, because I'm telling you that because that's an idea.
Other than that, man, just don't follow any trends. If you see it too many times there's enough of it in the game. You don't need to follow suit. Always try to stay in something different. And stay free. Can't do it from jail.
A few months ago, you confirmed that Lil Wayne will be on Pilot Talk 3. Has his current situation altered that?
Nah. It's got nothing to do with that, because of the way I'm releasing Pilot Talk 3, I'm not going to run into any legal issues because we're releasing the package with clothes. The music is free. What we're going to do is we're retailing visual art and merchandise, so we don't run into those barriers when you retailing music. This really is for the people. I've run into so many roadblocks, like the time when me and Wiz wanted to do Live in Concert, that was intended to be free. People were waiting for us to do that and what got in the way was copyright infringements. I just hate the red tape that's in the game.
What's the closest you've come to compromising your music for radio?
Maybe reaching out to some of my homies, but I've just been blessed to have relationships, like childhood friendship, with people who already doing well in the mainstream. So it's nothing for me to reach out and ask Rick Ross to put a verse on a record or to call Wiz and put a verse on the record.
But when you deal with a label, they may suggest collaborations with people who have mainstream success. And that's about as far as I've gone and that's not even a reach. That's why it was so natural. If it feels like a reach, I'm not going to do it. That's why you ask me, "What was the furthest I've gone to try and play ball with the label," because you can't tell when I did it.
Is there another project with Alchemist coming?
Yeah, we already putting it together, but I can't give you the full details of it. We already in the works. I have about three of them in my computer right now.
OK, your turn to ask me a question.
When you're doing an interview, what's the number-one telltale sign that the subject is a poor person for an interview? How do you know this is going to be terrible? Or how quick can you tell?
It's usually after the first couple of questions, depending on the answer and how long the answer is, because a lot of people don't give detailed answers. They just give one sentence. I don't feel as interested or invested in an interview anymore after someone's given me "whatever"-type answers.
That's like doing a show. I've been blessed to not have to do it, but I've seen artists flip out on a crowd because they're not giving them the energy, and then they can't give them the energy. And I understand the argument. I haven't gone through it, but I understand it.
New Times' Top Music Blogs
Rolling Loud Music Festival. Saturday, February 28. Soho Studios, 2136 NW First Ave., Miami. Gates open at 1 p.m., and tickets cost $60 to $100 plus fees via ticketweb.com. All ages. Visit rollingloud.com.
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter: @LeeMCastro
Follow us on Facebook at Miami New Times Music.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.