Curren$y - The Drive In Theatre (Mixtape)

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The consistency displayed on "The Drive In Theatre" makes for one of the more solid projects dropped by Curren$y in some time.

There aren’t too many artists who can say they release as much content as Curren$y, and the rare few who can can’t claim the quality of music released by New Orleans’ native son. While his partner in rhyme, Wiz Khalifa, has fallen back temporarily with fatherhood, for Curren$y it’s remained business as usual. For the release of The Drive In Theatre, Curren$y has again turned to his partnership with BitTorrent for the release. While previous releases through BitTorrent have met unfavorable reviews, the consistency displayed on The Drive In Theatre makes for one of the more solid projects dropped by Curren$y in some time.

To a certain extent, the quality of a Curren$y project can be predicted based on the production. When Curren$y locks in with one producer (or, for the most part one producer) you get Curren$y at his best (See the Pilot Talk series, Covert Coup, This Ain’t No Mixtape and Cigarette Boats). When Curren$y works with multiple producers with big names sprinkled in (see New Jet City, The Stoned Immaculate), it’s hit or miss. While Thelonious Martin only handles half of the production, the tracks in between those (half of which are produced by Cardo) never stray from the albums smooth vibe, even when speeding up the tempo, which fits Curren$y perfectly. Even when Cardo brings the bass for the bouncy “10 G’s” it still fits within Spitta’s wheelhouse; giving off a vibe of earlier Monsta Beatz tracks from This Ain’t No Mixtape. On “El Camino,” up and comer DJ Kariu provides a faster-paced head-nodding track, reminiscent of Ski Beatz “Life Under the Scope.” When classic Curren$y moments aren’t being recreated, Thelonious Martin is providing soundscapes reminiscent of early ‘90s Hip Hop. The beat on “E.T.” not only works for Curren$y, but finds B Real sounding just as at home.

As for Curren$y’s rhymes, he provides what his fans have come to expect from him. Pop culture references including Cooley High (“Smoother than Cochise jumper, they wouldn’t a killed him, he’d a been a muthafucka”), clever metaphors (“She like why you do that / She like how I do that, wanna know when I’m due back / Can’t harness the lightening, or predict when it’s striking…”), and of course, a decent amount of raps about grinding, weed, and Chevys. On “Vintage Vineyard,” Curren$y opens the track describing a meeting of millionaires enjoying life, plotting moves for advancement; where he exists now, then without warning, flips right back to a murder scene in New Orleans; where he’s from. The transition is smooth, seeming almost effortless, due in part mostly to the mesh between Curren$y’s flow, and the track. Throughout The Drive In Theatre, that aforementioned mesh is almost constant.

While promoted as the sequel to New Jet City, The Drive In Theatre isn’t a sequel in the continuation sense, more in the “this came after the last one, and we fixed everything that was wrong” sense. Outside of the movie excerpts in between tracks (“New Jack City” on New Jet City, “The Godfather” on The Drive In Theatre), the two projects have very little in common. The Drive In Theatre is classic Curren$y type instrumentation, properly placed features and Curren$y being Curren$y. The Drive In Theatre is a project Curren$y fans can celebrate, and non-Curren$y fans might want to give a couple listens to.

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