I can’t open up a review of this album without taking a look at the major players involved. A few years ago Curren$y was a rapper struggling to find his identity without a label. Dame Dash was a humbled, if not disgraced, record exec down on his luck after a messy divorce with former business partner and friend Jay-Z. Roc-A-Fella Records was falling apart after the Dash and Jay-Z split, having lost most of its more famous artists to other labels.
Fast forward to 2010 and we have ‘Pilot Talk.’ Curren$y has landed on Dame Dash’s new label, BluRoc records. After reinventing himself as stoner rapper, Curren$y has dropped a ton of mixtapes and a few indy albums. Dash has rebounded too, building BluRoc around putting out more ‘positive’ music, among other ventures. This is the first release from the tandem.
How did we get here? After leaving Cash Money in 2006, Curren$y adopted the moniker JETS – Just Enjoy This Sh*t. That’s what he’s been doing in the both. Lyrically he has some sharp lines and a real smooth flow. He doesn’t stray away from what he knows – clothes, hoes, trees, whips – and that’s cool. JETS is what he’s doing in the booth.
One disappointment is no appearance by Wiz Khalifa on the album. In case you’ve been sleeping, they’re the modern day Redman and Method Man. Unfortunately whatever records they did for this album didn’t get cleared in time. Besides that there aren’t many disappointments on this record.
The album follows some of the recent trends in the industry – a short album (13 tracks, 43 minutes) with a lot of features. Musically, it’s right in line with his most recent mixtapes and albums. Curren$y and his team did a great job of selecting beats on this album as they all knock.
‘Example’ is a nice intro track and ‘Audio Dope II’ might be better than the original. ‘King Kong’ is tough and ‘Seat Change’ features a crazy laid back beat and a verse from Snoop.
After the beginning the album starts to really pick up steam. Though there are a lot of features through the rest of the album, the different artist add a nice change of pace to Spitta’s Mos Def laced him with ‘Breakfast,’ and ‘Roasted’ featuring Trademark and Young Roddy is nuts. ‘Skybourne’ is another song with a chill beat that stoners will enjoy riding out to.
‘The Hangover’ features Mikey Rocks from the Cool Kids and is a good track, though it’s weird to hear Mikey over anything that wasn’t produced by Chuck Inglish. ‘The Day’ features Jay Electronica (he kills it of course) and Mos Def and is one of the strongest records of the summer. ‘Prioritize’ features one of his frequent collaborators Nesby Phips and could’ve easily been on any of his latest mixtapes.
Besides ‘The Day’ and ‘Breakfast’ the last three songs are my favorite. ‘Chilled Coughphee’ features a silly verse by Devin the Dude who’s one of the godfathers of stoner rap. Address is another strong track w/ Cincy rapper Stalley, who drops a gem. The last track is an old one, but one of my favorites, ‘Life Under the Scope.’
‘Pilot Talk’ is a good, chill album. He’s not glorifying the drug game and he isn’t providing the lyrical blueprint for Black Nationalism. He’s just did his thing, had a little fun and brought some of his homies to help him out.
This album won’t win any awards and might not get a lot of hype for album of the year, but don’t sleep on it. It’ll probably get lost in the shuffle with Rick Ross coming out, but it’s definitely a good summer album. Whether you’re a Curren$y fan or have never listend to him, the instrumentals alone will make it a solid listen.