Saturday, 19 November 2011

Curren$y - Pilot Talk [2010]

Artist: Curren$y
Album: Pilot Talk
Label: DD172

While I'd bet that a lot of this blog's followers have already heard this record, I feel it's almost my duty to enlighten those who haven't yet been blessed by the sounds of this hip-hop masterpiece. I like to think that I'm a person who doesn't just carelessly throw words around, and I genuinely do think that this is one of the most solid and cohesive examples of a great hip-hop record that I've ever heard. Every aspect of the record works incredibly well; Curren$y's rhymes are simply unparalleled by any other MC, while Ski Beatz offers up some of the freshest, crispest beats one could ever hope to hear. If you can listen to the first three tracks of Pilot Talk and deny that they form one of the strongest openings to any album, then you are on a very different page to me musically.

I suppose the first point to talk about with any hip-hop record is the lyrical prowess of the MC behind the project and Curren$y consistently delivers pure quality on Pilot Talk. One of the most interesting aspects of Curren$y's lyrical style is his unique use of phrases and expressions that can only really be understood after hearing several of his mixtapes. From unusual observational expressions of everyday things to really abstract metaphors, Curren$y effortlessly creates a dictionary of his own, personal language (or "Pilot Talk") that reveal new details and meanings on every listen. Subtle humour is also peppered throughout Pilot Talk, and Curren$y's delivery alone has often had me laughing out loud at his understated wit and, at times, bombastic sense of humour. While there is a plethora of examples that I could give of Curren$y's best lines, there are so many highlights that it would be more productive to get your teeth into Pilot Talk (and ideally his other mixtapes) as soon as possible to unravel the complexity of the Jet lingo.

During his already long career, Curren$y has been involved with a number of labels, most notably Master P's No Limits and Lil' Wayne's Young Money and during this time he has spitted over a variety of beats. Having heard this record first and subsequently delving further into his history, it really hit me that Curren$y's partnership with Ski Beatz on the Pilot Talk series (the third installment being in the pipeline at this time) is as close to perfect as I have heard in a producer-MC relationship. Ski backs Curren$y with smooth and polished beats, which range from the huge brass sounds of "The Day" to the heavy-hitting steel drums of "Audio Dope II" and the stadium-sized riffs of "Example", Ski offers variety while managing to keep a certain languid quality throughout, making Pilot Talk a really cohesive effort.

To finish, some words from the Hot Spitta himself:

"Tearing through the city, snatching bitches, top of the building, King Kong ain't got shit on me."

Jets... Fool.


1) Example
2) Audio Dope II
3) King Kong
4) Seat Change (featuring Snoop Dogg)
5) Breakfast
6) Roasted (featuring Trademark & Young Roddy)
7) Skybourne (featuring Smoke DZA & Big K.R.I.T.)
8) The Hangover (featuring Mikey Rocks)
9) The Day (featuring Mos Def & Jay Electronica)
10) Prioritize (featuring Nesby Phips)
11) Chilled Coughee (featuring Devin the Dude)
12) Address (featuring Stalley)
13) Life Under the Scope


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