In House With Curren$y: Rapper Shares The Doors Inspiration, Wiz Khalifa Sessions, Album Memories
Curren$y spends most of his days higher than a kite. While many people would fail at functioning properly due to being stoned, the 31-year-old rapper prides himself on crafting bodies of work while smoking weed. The Stoned Immaculate, his eighth studio album since 2009, has more than 10 collaborations — Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell Williams and Marsha Ambrosius, among others — and features production from some of the best in the business — Daz Dillinger, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Big K.R.I.T., to name a few. Spitta delivers his southern-laced lyrics, touching on the fast women his chills with, the green he lights up, the paper he chases and of course, the Jet Life he lives.
While sitting with The BoomBox on a particularly warm day in New York City, the Warner Bros. Records signee shared some fond memories he had while recording the LP. Daz Dillinger and Soopafly being in his presence is one of them. Candid and carefree in his responses, the former Toys”R”Us employee also gave some insight on why he’s recording a new mixtape, titled Live in Concert, with Wiz, the reason behind his many affiliations with movements like Master P’s No Limit and Lil Wayne’s Young Money and where influential ’60′s rock band The Doors fit into his life.
How many times you think you smoke in one day?
Every time [laughs].
Is it like an hourly thing? Or whatever you feel?
Every time, as long as I’m awake. Just as much, as long as I’m breathing, Its like that. Unless I’m somewhere, you know, that I can’t. As long as I can, I am. Like right up until the time I got to get out of the car and walk into [a location].
How did you and Pharrell get together to record “Chasin’ Paper” for your album?
Well, I had always wanted to work with Pharrell, for like, a long time. This was the first time we’ve ever worked together. People have heard like me on Pharrell’s beats but that’s because I’ve downloaded them, you know, and just rapped on the shit. But yeah I really wanted to work with him. And when he came in, he had some stuff that he had put together that he thought I might wanna do.
But he also had something that he wasn’t too sure that he did on the flight. He laid that hook down on the flight, he sung that into his laptop. So he was like, “Yo, I was just fucking with this, I don’t really know what I’m going to do, its not done, but check this out,” just playing it on the cool. But I was like, “That’s the one I wanna do!” I rapped over that that night and then he made some changes to the beat and then we hooked up again like a couple months, no, exactly a year after I recorded it.
What’s one moment where you said, “I can’t believe this is happening” while working on the album?
When Daz [Dillinger] brought Soopafly down to help him mix down the two records we’d done the day before. He hung out in the studio, smoked some weed, did some records that was cool. But when he came back the next day after we had recorded already, that showed. I was like, “Damn, this is for real.” This is how Daz produces his records, he brings in, I knew that already, because I’m a fan so I know how he works. But then when I saw him comin’ home I knew he was taking my record serious. These have to get mixed down, right in front of me and asking me what I think. And all that shit happened right then so I was like, “Damn, I must have… an album coming.”
This album is called The Stoned Immaculate. What does that mean exactly?
Well, I think I did that maybe for Jim Morrison and The Doors and the fact that I listen to their music and I’m a fan of that movie ["The Doors"], that I wanna say Oliver Stone did that movie. And it wasn’t the movie wasn’t based so much directly on Jim’s life, this is kinda what Oliver Stone did as a fan, of how much he put out of his stuff. This is what he gathered things would be like. And I liked that whole deal, the fact where he had to be in his heart to even do that movie, he felt a certain way about dude and the music and shit.
I feel the same way about it too. That was just one way for me to kind of be able to bring people into that. See, now I always have to explain what that is, so my homies and people who don’t know shit about The Doors have to go and Google it. And then if they like it cool, if they don’t, that’s cool too. But they have to check it out because of me, because I said so.
You’re paying homage to them. Do you have a favorite song from The Doors?
Geez dude, “The End.” That’s the first song I listen to every time that I listen to their music. Sometimes I think a lot about what happens when you’re not here. And that song kinda makes me feel like he’s kinda doing the same thing. And just facing it, because there’s really nothing you can do about it. So, just to hear somebody deal with it and I know I’m not the only person to deal with it. But he took it, like vocally, kinda to help other people deal with that shit. That’s tight.
What’s one of the jobs you had before your rap career?
I worked at a meat market. Like, where Rocky was. Where the slabs of shit’s just hanging up.
And where was that?
New Orleans. I did that for, maybe like two weeks, and then after that I was at a theme park. And I did that for like four days with my cousin.
So why is it that you didn’t last at these kinds of jobs?
Because I knew I had to do this [rap career]. That’s all I was thinking about at work. I was like, “What the fuck? What am I doing?” Like, this is not at all what I’m supposed to do. And I was really tight at a lot of stuff. Like I was at Toys”R”Us, I was killing it. I got all kinds of little Jeffrey pins and shit like for good service. I was on the register, I was nice with everybody. But I was like, “I don’t want to be nice with this.”
Was there one particular rapper that inspired you when you were young?
There’s like a gang of people. There’s like far too many, but, directly who I could put my hand on, at the time, I would say like Soulja Slim, but he’s gone. I was young, so material things would catch my eye too. And a lot of shit that I would only see in books, I saw homie with it, you know immediately, so I was like, this is coming from what? This is coming from rap. You know, so I would just do that shit.
You’ve been a part of a lot of different movements, from No Limit with Master P to Lil Wayne and Young Money/Cash Money and so on. Did you do that so you can climb to the top and get to where you wanted?
I knew what I wanted to do. And I came into it, just to be honest, just to make music. Just in the end, situations and knowing what kind of music I wanted to make, I saw that I couldn’t, because I was working for somebody. Yo, so I’m like, if we makin’ Big Macs, I can’t make a Whopper even though I know how to make one, I gotta do this. So I had to open my own franchise and make my own shit and it was just because of that.
You know, I really just wanted to do what I wanted to do so I had to make my own shit. You can’t do that in somebody else’s house, you gotta make your own, so that’s all it was. I wasn’t like, “No I gonna build my own and destroy these.” I just was like I dig the fact that you can do whatever you want. I want to do whatever I want too. If I tried to do that here, that’d be a problem, I’ll just go and make my own house and do whatever I want.
So what is the next step for you with Jet Life Recordings?
To put all the rest of the people like in the same position that I’m in right now, like not that I’m in some awesome position.
You are in an awesome position!
But those people are awesome! They are awesome, and they could do like incredible things like in this light. So my whole thing is to share the light and put people in position. There’s like a gang of projects about to happen, a lot of mixtapes and shit gonna happen.
Definitely. And speaking of mixtapes, you have one in the works with Wiz Khalifa.
So tell me about that.
What happened was, after a show in Chicago, we were listening to an album, some jazz music. And we listened to it and we smoked a little bit and then we we were like, “Yo, we should write one.” So what happened was, the next day, that’s what’s crazy, its crazy because the next day we were in Atlanta. See he had a show in Chicago I came there to do that. And I had to go to court in Atlanta the next day. When I got out of the studio at like 3AM, he had just got to a studio in Atlanta, he had rode a bus there.
So they had just got there and got to work so I was like, shit, well I’m about to shut it down, let me go check on homie. So I stopped [in] and then he was like, “Yo would you like to do that?” And I was like, “Fuck it, let’s just do the shit.” So we did half of it in Atlanta and we did the other half in L.A., like in one day. So we did one half of the shit till like maybe 8AM in Atlanta that one time and then in L.A. we lined up and did the same insane shit until the sun came up.
What is it about Wiz that excites you about working together?
We kinda like lined up on some shit and didn’t really know, we didn’t know what was gonna happen, what we were doing. We were at my house in New Orleans like a couple years ago, like wondering if we were gonna start selling weed because we didn’t really know, we were just rapping. Like we didn’t get paid. We were still sleeping, like on the floor, eating Chinese food and shit. So then shit just got, it just did all this, you know. I don’t know. We didn’t even know that that shit happened. Like as far as I’m concerned, it’s still the same shit. So, so that’s why we still do what we do. Like everything else is crazy, but we don’t know that shit.