Curren$y - Weekend at Burnie’s

Posted June 30, 2011
Tags: Curren$y,

We make thousands of assumptions every day, and that’s a good thing. For example, if I see a...

Weekend at Burnie's Album Review

We make thousands of assumptions every day, and that’s a good thing. For example, if I see a bear looking at me and licking his lips I can assume he’s wants to eat me and get the hell out. Or, alternately, if Lil B and Souljja Boy drop a new track called Swag Money Click Ellen DeGeneres Swag I can assume it’s terrible and save my ears three minutes of pain. Assumptions help us navigate a dangerous and busy world, quickly separating what might kill us from what won’t, what’s worth our time from what’s not. On the whole our assumptions are pretty accurate, but their fatal flaw is that every so often we miss out on the exception because all we can see is the rule. Like Curren$y. I assumed Curren$y was “just” another weed rapper. I was wrong.

Although Curren$y’s just now broken into the mainstream, or at least the rap mainstream, he’s a well travelled industry vet. Originally signed to Master P’s No Limit Records and made part of the 504 Boys, Curren$y relocated New Orleans’ label allegiances and signed with Cash Money before departing the house that Birdman built for more independent waters. Since then he’s released a steady stream of indie albums and mixtapes - including Covert Coup, the project that forced me to admit he was a legit emcee - before finally dropping his major label debut, the impressive Weekend at Burnie’s; because if there’s anything stoners love as much as weed it’s puns and ‘80s movies.

Speaking of substances that are legal in California if you’ve experiences back pain in the last five years, while always delivered under a cloud of marijuana smoke Curren$y’s supremely laid back flow can often mask a more complex lyricism. Take single/living trending topic #JetsGo. While the topic’s certainly nothing complicated – sex, drugs and money – by the time the THC soaked track’s come to a close he’s referenced everyone from Mario Andretti to Robert De Niro’s character in Casino, and the laid back hook aside he barely stops to take a breath, packing each bar with as many syllables as possible; his flow’s like a bizarro Talib Kweli. Or as the man himself puts it, “These detailed lyrics are far too intricate to be made up.” The same goes for She Don’t Want a Man, which shows a deft storytelling touch and Money Machine, which displays a Godfather-level of gangster complexity. The production and the sonic contact high might be making you drowsy, but ironically those who put some effort into listening to Weekend at Burnie’s will find themselves rewarded.

The album’s biggest strength is also its weakness, depending on your personal tastes. (How’s that for a vague opinion?) On the downside Burnie’s consistency and cohesion make all of the songs blend together, in affect sometimes relegating the album to background music. There’s a difference between You See It and Get Paid, but not a big one. Frankly most of the tracks on this album are essentially interchangeable, and in some cases even forgettable (I’m looking at you What What). At the same time though, in an age where the single rules supreme Curren$y has actually put together an album that’s best listened to as an album, whose effect can really only be felt after a top to bottom listen. So maybe “background music” isn’t such a dirty term. This is lifestyle music, and if your lifestyle involves a lot of sitting down and not talking much, there are a lot worse places to spend a weekend at than Burnie’s.

I’d like to say that we’ve all learned a valuable lesson here today, but we really haven’t, unless that lesson is “most of the time your assumptions are right, but every so often you’re wrong.” I’m still going to run away from hungry bears and Soulja Boy tracks, and rightfully so. But I’ll also both gladly tell anyone willing to listen that Curren$y has emerged as one of my favorite secretly dope rappers, and that Weekend at Burnie’s has earned a regular spot in my iPod rotation. I may not be a full-ledged jet but I when I do fly I’ve got no problem letting Curren$y be my pilot.

DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

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Posted June 30, 2011
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