Every Curren$y Project Ever, Ranked (An Absurdly Detailed Investigation)

By | 8 months ago
Curren$y has accomplishment a lot over the past decade, but has his overwhelming output diluted his legacy?
2016-09-07-currensy-projects-ranked

New Orleans native Curren$y has been hustling for a very long time. His initial come up was through No Limit Records as a member of the 504 Boyz in the early 2000s, which he later parlayed into a relatively unsuccessful stint with Cash Money/Young Money.

It wasn’t until Curren$y ditched mainstream fame pursuits and dove into the underground that he really took off. For the past seven years, Curren$y has launched himself into the running for the title of "Most Prolific Rapper of All-Time" with a staggering 51 projects under his belt, a feat he’s accomplished through championing free music, relentless touring, and generally staying ahead of the curve when it comes to music distribution.

No one could possibly argue Curren$y’s accomplishments or influence, but has The Hot Spitta’s years of rapid-fire output had an effect on the overall quality of his music? Will we remember Curren$y as one of the hardest-working, most consistent emcees in the game? Or a guy that released four or five great projects and 40-something mediocre ones?

The only way to tackle this question, my friends, is through acknowledging and ranking every one of Curren$y’s numerous projects - on a system of One to Four Doobies - in a little something we call an Absurdly Detailed Investigation.


Editor's Note: Aside from a select few, which were included due to their importance to Curren$y’s legacy, Young Money and Jet Life compilation projects were not considered for the purpose of this feature.

- Full-Length Albums -

Pilot Talk - 2010

Curren$y’s third studio album was ultimately released through Dame Dash’s DD172 imprint and is a widely considered Spitta’s seminal work. Produced almost entirely by Ski Beatz, the album sees Curren$y perfecting his witty weed raps over a whole new caliber of production with features from Snoop Dogg, Big K.R.I.T., and Jay Electronica.

Best Track: The Day ft. Jay Electronica & Mos Def

Rating: Four Fat Doobies

Covert Coup - 2011

Currensy

Curren$y linking up with Alchemist came out of nowhere, but immediately it seemed like the two were destined to be an infamous pairing. Alchemist’s dark, sinister production perfectly complimented a darker manifestation of Curren$y’s usual style. Features from Prodigy, Freddie Gibbs, and Smoke DZA turned an already dope project into one of Curren$y’s best.

Best Track: Scottie Pippen ft. Freddie Gibbs

Rating: Four Doobies

This Ain't No Mixtape - 2009

Currensy

This was Curren$y’s debut studio album through a deal with Amalgam Digital and was produced entirely by Monsta Beatz. The project marks the beginning of Curren$y’s solo style, as well as some of his first collaborations with some of his current Jet Life crew comrades like Trademark Da Skydiver and Young Roddy. With this album Curren$y established early on a tendency to do whatever the hell he felt like on a track, and with features ranging from Bun B to Mickey Factz, Curren$y also displayed an understated musical versatility.

Best Track: Elevator Music

Rating: Three Doobies

Pilot Talk II - 2010

Currensy

The sequel to the original Pilot Talk, while not as grandiose or feature-filled as the original, is still a very solid entry in Spitta’s catalog, and highlights a great working chemistry with producer Ski Beatz. While most of the project’s brightest moments come courtesy of Ski Beatz’s lush productions, Curren$y continued to hone his wit and conceptual abilities.

Best Track: Michael Knight (Remix) ft. Raekwon

Rating: Three Doobies

The Stoned Immaculate - 2012

Currensy

Technically his first “major” release, the traditional sound listeners had come to expect from Curren$y was bolstered by yet another step up in production quality and guest appearances. The Stoned Immaculate feels like the album Curren$y wanted to make for years and could finally accomplish with the connections and financial backing of Warner Bros.

Best Track: Jet Life ft. Big K.R.I.T. & Wiz Khalifa

Rating: Three Doobies

Muscle Car Chronicles - 2012

Not only does Curren$y’s collaborative album with self-taught producer & multi-instrumentalist Sean O’Connell feature Spitta spitting over more live instrumentation than ever before, it also contains some of his most inspired lyrical performances in a few releases. With this album Curren$y let listeners know he wasn’t quite done expanding on his sound yet. This is also the last project Curren$y released with DD172 before he signed his deal with Warner Bros.

Best Track: Fly Out pt. Deux

Rating: Two Doobies... and a Roach

Jet Files - 2009

Currensy

Jet Files was Curren$y’s second album through Amalgam Digital and was featureless aside from a collaboration with Fly Union. With more varied production than This Ain’t No Mixtape, Jet Files allowed Curren$y to further flex his versatility, as well as the ability to run the show on a full-length project without multiple features.

Best Track: The Pledge (In and Out)

Rating: Two Doobies

Weekend at Burnie's - 2011

Currensy

Now on his fifth studio album, Curren$y hit his stride and found a comfortable niche to settle into. The Jet Life crew is more present on this album, and the production reigns are handed back to his debut album collaborator, Monsta Beatz. While not a particularly awe-inspiring release, it does succinctly display Curren$y’s insight into his target audience.

Best Track: Still ft. Trademark Da Skydiver & Young Roddy

Rating: Two Doobies

Pilot Talk III - 2015

Currensy

The long-awaited third installment in Curren$y’s Pilot Talk series may have lacked some of the potency of the first two projects, but as multiple reviews pointed out, Curren$y had reached a Snoop Dogg-esque mastery of his lane. The sounds and content may not have been anything groundbreaking, but Curren$y had fine-tuned his craft to the point of effortless enjoyment.

Best Track: Froze ft. Riff Raff

Rating: Two Doobies

Jet World Order - 2011

Currensy

Although not technically a solo release from Spitta, Jet World Order is the first release through a joint venture between Curren$y’s newly founded Jets International (which would later become Jets Life Recordings) and iHipHop Distribution and is a clear milestone in Andretti’s journey towards building an underground empire. The entire Jet Life crew is present on this album, which at the time had recently acquired fellow heavyweight talents like Mikey Rocks and Smoke DZA.

Best Track: The Set ft. Trademark Da Skydiver, Young Roddy & Smoke DZA

Rating: One Doobie

Canal Street Confidential - 2015

After the success of the Pilot Talk series and The Stoned Immaculate, hopes were high for the latest studio album from Spitta, however, CSC was met with mixed reviews at best. This release saw Curren$y once again getting to play with the connections and support of a major label, this time it was the Warner-owned Atlantic Records, but the support was largely fruitless aside from the moderate radio success of Curren$y’s collaboration with August Alsina and Lil Wayne.

Best Track: Everywhere

Rating: One Doobie


- Digital/Retail EP's -

Even More Saturday Night Car Tunes - 2015

Currensy

A surprise 4/20 release by Curren$y last year found the NOLA emcee returning to the lane he’s spent years mastering: sprawling, relaxed production under top-notch weed and car raps. It’s brief, focused, and a solid installment in Curren$y’s ever-expanding catalog.

Best Track: Do It For A G ft. Yo Gotti

Rating: Three Doobies

Live In Concert - 2013

Currensy

Live In Concert  was meant to be a continuation of Curren$y & Wiz Khalifa’s collaborative mixtape How Fly, one of the stronger releases in Spitta’s catalog, but the mixtape was eventually released as a retail EP due to sample clearance issues. Curren$y and Wiz have a wonderful rap rapport that compliments each respective rapper’s strengths and sometimes polishes their weaknesses.

Best Track: Toast

Rating: Two Doobies...and a Roach


- Mixtapes -

How Fly - 2009

Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa are like hip-hop’s Chris Farley and David Spade. Individually, they’re great, but together they’re unstoppable. It’s the perfect pairing. This is considered by many to be a classic in both artists’ catalogs, and for good reason. The production is on point, the rhymes are dope, and Curren$y and Wiz’s chemistry is palpable.

Best Track: Car Service

Rating: Four Doobies

Verde Terrace - 2011

Currensy

Given Curren$y’s proclivity for jackin’ for beats in the past, a full mixtape with DJ Drama was inevitable and a no-brainer. This mixtape is reminiscent of Spitta’s early tapes, but with a polish that improves on them. Plus, you get to hear Curren$y spit over Outkast’s “Elevators” beat, which it turns out is fucking perfect.

Best Track: Smoke Sumthin

Rating:  Three Doobies...and a Roach

New Jet City - 2013

Currensy

Arguably Curren$y’s strongest mixtape release since How Fly, New Jet City has the feel and quality of a full-fledged album. Curren$y holds his own lyrically against the likes of Jadakiss, Rick Ross, and Juvenile, and his Jet Life comrades are given the same chance to shine on a top-quality project.

Best Track: Three 60 ft. Juicy J

Rating:  Three Doobies...and a Roach

Smokee Robinson - 2010

Currensy

His only release of 2010, Smokee Robinson is one of Curren$y’s more focused mixtape releases, thanks in part to the guidance of host DJ Don Cannon. On this mixtape, Curren$y hit his sonic wave and was riding high, weaving in and out of the chilled out instrumentals he still rocks to this day.

Best Track: Fat Raps ft. Chip Tha Ripper & Big Sean

Rating: Three Doobies

The Stage - 2013

Unlike the underwhelming result of Spitta’s EP with Styles P, this project with Smoke DZA produced great results, and with Harry Fraud back behind the boards for the NOLA emcee, things just feel right. Curren$y and DZA offer two very different variations of a similar aesthetic, and the end result is smooth; a great addition to Curren$y’s now-towering discography.

Best Track: Gifts

Rating: Three Doobies

The Drive In Theatre - 2014

Currensy

The Drive In Theatre is another Curren$y mixtape that sounds like it could be a full album. In many ways it’s the quintessential Curren$y mixtape, but with that next-level quality that separates this and a few other releases from the bulk of his catalog. The features are well placed, the production is fantastic, and Curren$y is coasting in a way that comes off as impressive rather than frustrating.

Best Track: Grew Up In This ft. Young Roddy & Freddie Gibbs

Rating: Three Doobies

 Return To The Winner's Circle - 2011

Currensy

One of Spitta’s strongest mixtape releases, Return… is the beginning of Peak Curren$y. The lyric/production relationship reached a strength not yet attained throughout a full release, and the conceptual elements show Curren$y at his most comfortable, which is also when he’s at his best.

Best Track: Moon & Stars (Remix) ft. Big K.R.I.T.

Rating: Three Doobies

Cigarette Boats - 2012

Currensy

Cigarette Boats is a collaborative EP with Harry Fraud, and the two are clearly meant to work together. Cited by XXL as “EP Of The Year” in 2012, Spitta shines over Harry’s enigmatic production. It seems that Curren$y could tell that he was lyrically not on-point with the Styles P collaboration, so this release sees a return to the free-flowing wit of his best work.

Best Track: Biscayne Bay

Rating: Three Doobies

The Carrollton Heist - 2016

Currensy

At long last, Curren$y reconnects with Covert Coup conductor Alchemist for 10 tracks of prime Hot Spitta. Curren$y sounds hungrier on this project than he has in quite some time, and I’m sure plenty of that is due to the bar set by Alchemist’s production. A bonus treat comes in the form of an A+ Action Bronson feature. It’s actually surprising these two haven’t done a collaborative project by now, considering their many mutual friends and similar tendency to veer into spoken word territory over their more spacey productions.

Best Track: Vibrations

Rating: Three Doobies

The Legend Of Harvard Blue - 2016

We’re now at the sixth 2016 release from Curren$y, and somehow he strikes gold again in the midst of a few so-so projects. The Legend of Harvard Blue is another project inspired by the blaxploitation films of Spitta’s childhood and produces some of the most memorable expansions on his usual production choices in recent memory.

Best Track: The Collective

Rating: Three Doobies

Fin… - 2008

Currensy

A fitting end to a year of absolutely mind-boggling musical output, Fin... serves as a summation of Curren$y’s artistic growth throughout the year, and provides a glimpse into the next logical step of his legacy. Spitta’s production choices continued to strengthen with this release, and while it wasn’t his most focused release, it was clear that he was on the cusp of fully owning the lane he’d spent the last year carving out for himself.

Best Track: Coupes & Leers

Rating: Two Doobies...And A Roach

Welcome to the Winner's Circle - 2008

Currensy

While Curren$y continues to lock down his sound on this project, this is when people started to really take notice of Spitta’s insane output. By this time it was clear to everyone that the Young Money deal was more of a hindrance than a help to Spitta, and without the limitations of a label’s release schedule, he was flourishing.

Best Track: Something Like ft. Street Wiz & Fiend

Rating: Two Doobies...And A Roach

Bales - 2013

Currensy

It seems like 2013 was the year that Curren$y really decided to share the spotlight with his Jet Life crew. They were heavily present on his solo release and received plenty of shine through the Red Eye mixtape bundle. Bales finds Spitta collaborating with my personal favorite from the Jet Life squad, Young Roddy. Roddy’s vocals compliment Curren$y’s laid back delivery like a tangy lemonade helping you out through a plate of rich, fattening barbecue, and the two sparring back and forth over great production is a treat for Curren$y fans as well as a warning to those not familiar with Young Roddy that his time is coming.

Best Track: Grizzly

Rating: Two Doobies...and a Roach

Priest Andretti - 2012

Currensy

Inspired by the blaxploitation films of the 70s, Priest Andretti keeps the same style and flows Spitta is known for, yet there’s a definite darkness present on this release that’s largely missing from his other projects. Well-placed Super Fly samples throughout the lush production are also a huge bonus.

Best Track: Talk My Shit

Rating: Two Doobies...and a Roach

Saturday Night Car Tunes - 2014

Curren$y dropped this surprise release in 2014, to compliment a stoned drive around the city, and that’s exactly what it feels like. Again, Curren$y finds strength in a shortened playlist, allowing his focus to remain intact throughout the seven track project. We’re also treated to a collaboration between Curren$y and his former boss Birdman on the “10 G’s” remix.

Best Track: 10 G’s (Remix) ft. Birdman & Gunplay

Rating: Two Doobies...and a Roach

The Owners Manual - 2016

Currensy

We’ve moved to present-day Curren$y releases, as The Owner’s Manual was Spitta’s first release of 2016. Produced entirely by Cool & Dre, the project achieved the same laid back confidence of projects like Here… while a nice variation in sound to compliment Curren$y’s newly regained finesse.

Best Track: Mallory Knox

Rating: Two Doobies...and a Roach

Welcome Back - 2005

Currensy

Spitta’s second mixtape shows a clear evolution from the style he displayed on Sports Center, Vol 1. The rhymes are tighter, the mix is of a much higher quality, and you can tell Curren$y is starting to settle into a pocket that he’ll eventually spend the next 11 years perfecting.

Best Track: Serious Freestyle

Rating: Two Doobies

Life At 30,000 Feet - 2007

Currensy

This tape not only showcased Curren$y’s great chemistry with the Young Money crew but marked the beginning of Curren$y’s obsession with all things air transportation. Some of the tracks on this tape eventually found homes on other projects, as with the clear winner “Lay My Organz Down” with Lil Wayne, Mack Maine, and Dizzy, which ended up on Wayne’s Lil Weezy Ana Vol. 1 mixtape.

Best Track: Lay My Organz Down

Rating: Two Doobies

Independence Day - 2008

Currensy

After a frustrating run with Young Money, Independence Day is Curren$y’s breakout solo tape. This is a milestone in Spitta’s career. This tape also houses some of the first collaborations between Curren$y and his Jet Life teammates Young Roddy and Trademark Da Skydiver.

Best Track: Flyer Than The Average ft. Trademark Da Skydiver

Rating: Two Doobies

Higher Than 30,000 Feet - 2008

Currensy

2008 is arguably Spitta’s best year as far as mixtape releases go. With Higher Than 30,000 Feet, Curren$y really started to pin down his lane and makes great production choices to highlight his increasingly slowed-down rhyme schemes. Some of the weakest moments on the project occur when Curren$y hops out onto those higher BPM beats and rushes his delivery, a mistake that begins to occur less and less frequently with each subsequent release.

Best Track: The Planes Got It

Rating: Two Doobies

Fear and Loathing in New Orleans - 2008

Curren$y’s pocket is getting tighter and tighter with each release, and Fear and Loathing in New Orleans is another palpable step up in rap quality, while the only things occasionally limiting Spitta are the beat choices. Curren$y still lacks original production, and while some of his beat selections are great for the novelty of hearing him go in over another artist’s beat, more often than not it feels unnatural and the songs suffer because of it.

Best Track:  Come Up

Rating: Two Doobies

Super Tecmo Bowl - 2008

Currensy

While the production faux pas continued on Super Tecmo Bowl, this mixtape was Curren$y’s fifth of 2008 and his rap abilities were on the steady incline. It seems like, through this series of tapes, Curren$y was reaching back into hip-hop’s past to pick and choose elements of a sound that he could make his own, and this project is another step in that evolution.

Best Track: Jets

Rating: Two Doobies

Fast Times at Ridgemont Fly - 2008

Currensy

Fast Times... marks Curren$y’s sixth release of 2008, a staggering output for anyone, let alone a rapper who’s skills were steadily improving. Revisiting these projects is providing a clear look into the evolution of Spitta’s sonic aesthetic, which is really fascinating. The production choices are a clear improvement from his previous releases as well.

Best Track: Jet Muzik

Rating: Two Doobies

#The1st28 - 2012

Currensy

This tape was a collaborative effort with the legendary Styles P, and although the two have a decent chemistry together, ultimately Curren$y sounds uninspired and a bit on auto-pilot, even for him. This isn’t Spitta’s worst tape by any means, but it fails to stick out for any reason even with the added star power of Styles P.

Best Track: Lean ft. Fiend

Rating: Two Doobies

Red Eye - 2013

Currensy

This is technically a Jet Life release, but it holds an important spot within Curren$y’s legacy because the project was released through a partnership with BitTorrent as a bundle that included not only the project but videos and bonus content, and showcases Curren$y’s ability to stay ahead of the curve in the game even if he sticks to one lane musically.

Best Track: Right Now

Rating: Two Doobies

More Saturday Night Car Tunes - 2014

Currensy

Just two months after the release of the first installment of this series, Curren$y returns with another seven tracks to compliment your smoke and ride. As you might expect, the production is an extension of the smooth, 70s-inspired beats Curren$y is known for, and collaborations with Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller highlight the project.

Best Track: Money Shot ft. Mac Miller

Rating: Two Doobies

Weed & Instrumentals - 2016

After perfecting his own sound, Curren$y is back to jackin’ for beats. Literally, the only thing saving this project from the same boring fate as some of his earlier mixtapes is the beats chosen by Spitta and company. Sometimes, just sometimes, a dope mainstream beat proves to be enough to save Curren$y from his own usual shortcomings over production that is meant for other artists.

Best Track: Cut It Redone It ft. Corner Boy P

Rating: Two Doobies

Bourbon Street Secrets - 2016

Currensy

Bourbon Street Secrets is Curren$y’s collaborative EP with producer Purps, who takes a more trap-inspired swing at the sound Spitta has built around himself. The result is neither mind blowing or skip-worthy, with Curren$y straddling that middle of the road vibe, offering a few lyrical gems but mostly just coasting across Purps’ somewhat generic production.

Best Track: Dope Boys ft. Rick Ross

Rating: Two Doobies

Stoned on Ocean - 2016

Currensy

This project was released just two months ago to give you an idea of Curren$y’s insanely prolific output. In general, the project is hit-or-miss, with another Wiz Khalifa feature as it’s shining moment. Again, nothing new from Curren$y in terms of lyrical content or general style, but it’s not a bad release by any means.

Best Track: Speedboat ft. Wiz Khalifa

Rating: Two Doobies

Revolver - 2016

Currensy

The soundtrack to a short film released by Curren$y and Taylor Gang producer Sledgren, Revolver is technically Curren$y’s 8th release of 2016, and finds Curren$y, unsurprisingly, on auto-pilot. There are a few gems for sure, as he definitely feels at home on Sledgren’s production, but even with the accompanying film, there’s not enough to keep this project from falling by the wayside of his much more potent releases.

Best Track: NFAC

Rating: Two Doobies

Cathedral - 2015

Currensy

According to Curren$y, this project was completed (or at least put together) in a day, and although Chase N. Cashe provides some great production alley-oops, Curren$y’s rhymes sound tired and lazy, and not in the endearing way they usually do. Whether this project was the result of a stoned studio session that probably could’ve used more work or a creative slump for Curren$y, Cathedral leaves no strong impressions either way and doesn’t quite hit that intangible mark that makes a Spitta release shine.

Best Track: 2 Us It’s Nothing

Rating: One Doobie...and a Roach

Sports Center, Vol 1 - 2004

One of Curren$y’s first mixtape releases, Sports Center, Vol. 1 is a bit sloppy and lacks the laid-back vibe Spitta became known for, but that’s kind of why it’s awesome. It’s just a rapper going in over popular beats, Gangsta Grillz style. It’s also Curren$y spitting in No Limit/Young Money mode which is great to go back and listen to after years of calm, fluid releases.

Best Track: Jigga My Nigga

Rating: One Doobie

Weed and Instrumentals 2 - 2016

Currensy

Normally, hearing a rapper tackle popular instrumentals is usually exciting, but time and time again we’re reminded that Curren$y just isn’t made for it. He’s at his best when he's working with production that is created specifically for him, forming a cocoon of comfort around his stubbornly-consistent rhyme pocket. A personal highlight on the project actually comes in the form of Jet Life teammate Fiend taking on Kanye West’s “We Major” beat.

Best Track: We Major

Rating: One Doobie

- Conclusion - 

There are most definitely some gems in Curren$y's ridiculously large discography, however, there are also plenty of throwaways. Many of Curren$y's shorter projects could have been combined and trimmed of their less potent offerings. While not every release is stellar, the sheer fact that Curren$y was even able to maintain mediocrity throughout such a large volume of music is more than impressive, let alone the fact that he produced some legitimate classics throughout. 

Curren$ys quick-fire prolific output has more than likely done more good for his career than bad, as he's been able to constantly remain relevant within the ever-decreasing attention span of music consumption in the digital era, and no matter how formulaic his releases have become over the years, hats all the way off to Curren$y for pulling off the career he has and maintaining a loyal, hungry fan base the entire way. 

And now, 40+ projects later, this sleep-deprived writer is going to rest his brain, ears, and fingers...at least until Curren$y drops another project. 

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