The Review: THE STONED IMMACULATE by Curren$y

PRE-REVIEW: Hella late so sorry about that.

Curren$y is one of those rappers who, despite the lack of variety in his subject matter, manages to stay consistent album after album. And it isn’t just his great ear for production. He packs a lazy flow and autographical lyrics that keep him interesting. And the relaxing, airy music combined make for a hazed experience that’s almost as alluring as the stuff he smokes. But until now, Curren$y is starting to garner fame and even influence. So-called “weed rappers” like Wiz Khalifa and Smoke DZA owe something to Curren$y. Speaks volumes about a man whose name is only starting to get bigger as of now, though he has released great mixtapes and albums like This Ain’t No Mixtape and Pilot Talk. And to think he was once signed to Master P and then Lil Wayne and that neither of them saw the potential before.

The Stoned Immaculate sounds very much like another Curren$y album. Nothing groundbreaking or at least interestingly new. Curren$y treads the same path, offering little variation from what he has already said before. The sound doesn’t change much apart from a few hints. Curren$y’s top collaborators, Alchemist and Ski Beatz, are notably absent from this effort. The repetition has shown a couple kinks here and there on the album. For example, the words “chasing” and “paper” are too often found together. And some of the wordplay seems contrived (“No square shall enter in the circle of winners”).

But the repetition is the key to Curren$y’s success. When one reflects, any other topic would seem uncharacteristic for Curren$y to rap about. He himself declares, “Money and smoke is all I know”. Thus it only seems right that Curren$y should tread the same path, while still being able to let the listener sit back and vibe, similar to how Cam’ron interests his listeners by delivering witty punchlines rather than deviating from the same content. Even when Curren$y raps the regular braggadocio, he does it with such detail and pop culture affinity:

I’m adding dollars, you admiring/
I’m Words With Friends whole time in-flight wireless/
Email full of condo prices/
Marble or granite, kitchen islands/
Home stylings/

Can’t violate the Jet code without penalty/
Even family get let go “Fredo, you killing me”/
I work hard, bloggers thinking that it’s 10 of me/
Dropping record after record like them bitches slippery/
I like nice shit and I know how to get it/
Hustle dumbass, it’s not rocket science or quantum physics/

Maybe one of the most notable flaws of the album is the guest list. For a Curren$y album, it is difficult to imagine that anyone other than his posse and Wiz Khalifa could fit well on a Curren$y album. Case in point: Wale. The moment Wale starts the album off, the album starts sounding like Ambition Part 2 rather than a Curren$y album. Daz Dillinger’s husky, hardcore “Royce da 5’9″-like” voice sounds jarring on what is otherwise a perfectly Curren$y-type of song (“Fast Cars, Faster Women”). Surprisingly, however, the guests who sing some of the hooks, fit quite well. Pharrell sounds like the best he has been for a long (excuse me: LONG) time. And Estelle, who one would rather put on a pop-rap Kanye West-song, surprisingly adds more depth to “That’s the Thing” without making the song too overtly mainstream.

And maybe that’s the biggest gift for the listeners of this album. No major crossover attempts. No gimmicky sing-song hooks. From start to finish, it is purely a Curren$y album whose only interruptions are some of the guests and a few misconceived lines. The fans get what they want and nothing else. And that results in a satisfactory effort.

Rating: 8.25/10

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