If you’re a rapper today, you can do one of three things: constantly talk about restoring hip-hop to how it was ten fifteen years ago, air out pointless rivalries on YouTube, or wear spandex. Amidst all these shenanigans, there’s Curren$y, a rapper from New Orleans who has the audacity to spell his name with a dollar sign in the place of a ‘c’. Laid back and amicable, Curren$y is one artist who is just out to make genuinely entertaining music.
Peace to the homie Devin for hooking up the interview.
ML: What’s it like being an independent artist from New Orleans?
$: It’s refreshing and I feel like a pioneer. I’m happy. Shout out to Master P. We’re black armed and ’bout it ’bout it.
ML: What’s going on in New Orleans right now in terms of hip-hop?
$: I’m seeing a change, man. I didn’t really know that people out here was really even listening to me, to the shit that I’m doing now doing since I’m doing my own music and I’m doing what I really want to do. But I had a show recently and I saw the turnout. I’m seeing that it’s not as behind as people think. People don’t really think that New Orleans has a real, true hip-hop scene, but it does and it’s living and breathing. And I’m a part of it.
ML: The mixtapes had really random themes like Super Tecmo Bowl and Fear & Loathing. How did you pick the themes?
$: I used different titles and shit just to let people know what I’m about. I’m figuring because my album didn’t come out when it was supposed to, like, I went through some things and people didn’t really know enough about me. So, while I was doing the mixtape hustle and everything and I was giving stuff away for free, I figured that I needed to let ‘em know everything about me that they can’t get from interviews and stuff, because I wasn’t doing them. Nobody was really checking for me, so I wasn’t doing any interviews. So, I needed to put in the mixtapes shit about me that would express what kind of person I am. Through them titles and shit, using moving titles and shit, and through the pictures and shit that I used and shit, it let’s you know what kind of stuff I must be into to even come up with that kind of shit for my mixtape shit. From my seven tapes, you can deduce that I’m a game head and I like shoes and I don’t sell cocaine and I’m just chilling and everything’s alright.
ML: You’re big into gaming?
$: Yeah, but I got what I like. I’m online on Rainbow Six: Las Vegas 2. Gamertag spitvicious, all one word if anybody’s looking.
ML: What kind of response have you gotten about the mixtapes?
$: I got a fairly good response about the mixtapes. It seemed like it picked up more after Fear & Loathing in New Orleans. Once I put that one out, I started to really see that more people were recognizing what I was doing. It was making them go back and pick up the other ones too, so that was good. People appreciated what I did and I put out a lot of music. And they feel me for it, so it was well worth it.
ML: Did you get any industry response?
$: Yeah man, like Lupe Fiasco called me, reached out, told me he respected what I was doing and shit. And Pharrel, just a couple of people I bumped into that gave me my credit for shit I’m doing. And that’s what was pushing me too, man. Just like doing this interview is going to push me to do more shit. As long as shit keep going the right way, that’s what’s driving me like that.
ML: Have you gotten any interest from labels?
$: Yeah, a couple of labels have reached out, but nobody is really prepared to understand that I’m not going to make the radio single. Not the one that they want. I feel like any song you put on the radio is a radio single. I think they want another “Where da Cash At” and I’m not gonna do that. If you hear my tapes, you know what kind of music I really make. I can’t force that on the labels. I can’t force them to put me on. Rather than even trying to compromise with the labels or take a lowball, I just decided to do it independent.
ML: A couple of the tracks I’ve heard you on have kind of techno, electronic type beats, like “Drug Flow.” Can we expect more of that?
$: Yeah man, on the album, I did everything that I know worked for me on the tapes. The shit that sounded right those times, that same vibe is going to be present on the album. This is my baby. I’m not tooting my own horn, like I was putting a lot of work into the tapes, I wasn’t just putting no bullshit out, but this is my baby. And everybody who was a part of it looked at it the same way.
ML: When’s [This ain’t no Mixtape] coming out?
$: March 31st.
ML: The “Blown Away” track — who produced that?
$: Monsta Beatz. The snippets that we released to the Internet – it was produced entirely by Monsta Beatz. Everything.
ML: Do you ever regret leaving Young Money?
$: No, I never regret leaving Young Money.
ML: When was the last time you spoke to Wayne?
$: Nah, I don’t. I really don’t, because like I was on the cover of XXL a couple of months ago. It’s just a lot of shit that’s going on now. I got more acclaim myself. I got more shit popping on my own. I didn’t do an interview with you when I was with Young Money. We’re doing it now. So I can’t regret, because I’m doing so much now. I’m caught up in it right now.
ML: I heard a little while ago that you were working on something with Wale. Is that ever going to happen?
$: Yeah, man. We’ve been collaborating, man. We’re doing some shit. We trying to get together for the album right quick, but we got some shit in the vault, but I don’t know if I’m going to put that on the album, I’ma just hold on to that. We’re trying to knock some more shit out. That’s my man though. Shout out to Wale and everybody else who was on the XXL cover with me.
ML: Is that how that came about?
$: Nah, we was friends before that. I hit him on MySpace one time like ‘Dude, we gotta get down on some shit,’ and he was like ‘Yeah, I bet,’ and it’s just been good.
ML: How long did it take to make This Ain’t No Mixtape?
$: Maybe a month? Not even? I wanna say like two and a half weeks. I ain’t gonna lie, we had the album before we knew we was putting the album out. It just so happened that I had so many records. I was working with Monsta Beatz to get a couple of records to add to my album and then I did so many records that I was like, ‘Fuck, this a album.’ So I’ma do This Ain’t No Mixtape in volumes, because the majority of one is produced by Monsta Beatz. I got so many other records that I had done with other producers that was supposed to be on the album, but I’ma just gonna drop it in series, man. It’s gonna be wild for a minute. It’s gonna be tight, man. Don’t worry, I’ll send you a Lamborghini or something. It’s gonna be awesome.
ML: Apart from that, what are your future plans? Do you plan to do anymore mixtapes?
$: Yeah, I’m about to get back to the mixtape shit. Trademark got a mixtape coming out next, at some point. [laughs] He’s got records. At some point he’ll put them all on one disc and get some artwork. But shortly. And you could look for a Jets tape collectively and other than that, the Fly Society clothing line — we’re just about to start showing in places like Bloomingdales and Macy’s and shit like that, so shit about to be legit. We did a deal with KR3W, Supra and those guys. We merged, we did a nice deal with those guys, so shit’s about to be overdrive on the fashion tip and that’s only making me more dangerous on the independent because I got more bread to fuck around on this shit for.
ML: What was the last thing you bought?
$: The last thing I bought was two pepperoni personal pan pizzas with breadsticks and a Mountain Dew and a tea for Trademark da Skydiver and the homie Devin. And two Mexican pizzas, one with no beans, and two Taco Supremes with no lettuce.