With apologies to Rick Ross, Curren$y is the hardest working rapper in the game. In just two years, he has amassed a number of high quality releases between the Pilot Talk albums, Weekend At Burnies and a slew of serious mixtapes. Gone is the dojo and Damon Dash. Enter Warner music for Spitta’s major label release, The Stoned Immaculate. As the title implies, it’s a work suited for long pulls and high times that unfortunately does not employ all of Curren$y’s talents in relation to the music.There isn’t a bad song on this album. The problem is that it’s almost entirely one speed. Even though the production is not repetitive, the BPM’s are, which detract from Curren$y’s range as a flow-er. Ski Beatz brought out something new in Spitta when he married those smoked out rhymes to live music and layered, textured production. On this record, Curren$y’s naturally low energy level stands out a little, but the album is solid if unspectacular.
Bink! brings the same flavor he brought on The Blueprint’s “The Ruler’s Back” on opening salvo, Wale-guested “What It Look Like.” Those same subterranean back ground baseline and crescendo drums are there, this time accented with cymbal clashes at the end of the measure and Light strings flavoring the track throughout. The staccato-rhythm of “Privacy Glass” is garnished with hand claps and splashes of synth. Curren$y’s narratives are always lushly lowbrow; the construction is dense and the allegory complex, but the mentality isn’t that high.
Trademark and Young Roddy guest on “Armoire” by Monsta Beatz. Curren$y weaves his patented pop culture filled rhymes (dead stocks on my feet I’m walking ancient history), shitting on the cats that line up for hours for retro kicks. While Trademark and Roddy are inferior rappers, their collective youth and camaraderie enhance the track. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League adds that musical dynamism “Take You There.”. Marsha Ambrosious is there for gravitas and this track stands as one of the album’s high points. There is a myriad of moving parts as the League is known for, with strings doing most of the emotional lifting.
The flutes and somber strings of “Showroom” deliver a slow-burning mixture of bounce with Grover Cleveland smooth and a pinch of digital synth. Curren$y’s stream-of-consciousness flow pauses for a hook but it’s more for the sake of actual song structure than anything else. 2Chainz continues his run of killer guest appearances on the song “Capitol.” The hook reminds you of Ma$e effect on a generation of emcees, while Spitta’s “Blot that” reference immediately recalls American Gangster.
“No Squares” bangs with tuba-driven bombast as Wiz Khalifa adds his two cents. The duo talks down on hand-cuffing, non paper-chasing lames. Mexican horns open “Sunroof” along with intermittent key play and digital distortion. Guest rapper Corner Boy P comes off as 2 Chainz light.
Pharrell brings the heat on “Chasin’ Papers.” Pounding drums, angelic atmospherics, well-used snare drums and Skateboard P’s wannabe MJ crooning sublime gift for effective bridgework make this song a true banger. Substandard singing by Estelle sidetracks J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League track “That’s The Thing.” She sounds like hair-braiding Keisha from building 216. Otherwise the song is well-structured and one of the higher energy tracks on Stoned Immaculate.
“Chandelier” is a story Curren$y has told many times, richly produced by Tone P. The Daz-Produced “Fast Cars, Faster Women,” with its G-funk dramatic strings and organ is heavier than the rest of the album, without as much motion. Big K.R.I.T. continues his recent repetitious, hook-driven production on closer “Jet Life.” Wiz stuns with a slick flow and a crisp delivery, stealing the show. The only noteworthy bonus track is “Audio Dope 3,” whose faster pace only exacerbates the lack thereof on the album.
Smokers will love The Stoned Immaculate for its slow, hazy pace and lines they can untwist while high. Non-smokers will lament the lack of speed and momentum changes on the record. All in all, it’s dope beats and dope rhymes that won’t change your opinion of Curren$y. If you were riding, you’ll like it, if not, this won’t make the case.
Out of 5
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