Curren$y is ostensibly one of the hardest working (and most likeable) rappers in the game, with a slew of consistent mixtapes since 2006 and buzzy features alongside everybody from Wiz Khalifa and Big K.R.I.T. to ScHoolboy Q. Spitta is nothing if not prolific, but what defines him is also his greatest enemy. His laundry list of a repertoire ultimately feels disparate – nibbles versus a hearty meal – and he’s still generally viewed as another, albeit adept, weed rapper still on the cusp of truly breaking. In his forthcoming seventh studio album Muscle Car Chronicles, Spitta doesn’t reinvent the wheel – it’s still a lot of braggadocio and weed talk – but he repackages his wares in a tight, fresh set.
Muscle Car Chronicles is a lush offering in which the New Orleans MC rhymes over instrumentation from the likes of The Mars Volta’s Thomas Pridgen, Robert E. Corrigan, Jr. and singer McKenzie Eddy. It’s produced by Sean O’Connell, a folk producer/songwriter/artist signed to Damon Dash’s DD172 (Dash is also co-credited as the album’s Executive Producer alongside O’Connell and Curren$y). Be clear: this isn’t a rapper trying to do a rock record or shamelessly pander to gain a new audience. This is genre-bending done right to create a really gorgeous sounding rap record.
The album opener, “Soundbombin’” is laced with mean guitars and live drums and kick-starts Curren$y tough talking. “Tell the driver to pull my truck up/Me and this L.A. woman stumbling out the club fucked up/The Jets my set I so love us/Call home/tell my bitch I come back after I come up.” A tune to the self-proclaimed “coolest nigga ever,” “Frosty” is infused with spooky electric organs to enhance lyrics like “Casper on these fools/Float/I’m talking about the Caspian Sea, ho.” Curren$y hasn’t lost his signature sense of humor. “The Strangest Life” flips Jim Morrison of The Doors’ famous quote, “This is the strangest life I’ve ever known” but famous features are thankfully slim – “Fly Out (Part Très) features Mikey Rocks of The Cool Kids and Tabi Bonney – which allows the focus to be on Spitta completely.
MCC’s standout gem “Bout It 2011” is a loving homage to Spitta’s No Limit roots. “Jets nigga/Bout it bout it/Roll one and match one if you bout it bout it/ Smoke one for C-Murder you are not forgotten/If you lookin’ for Spitta/find me where it’s cloudy, cloudy,” he raps. A tinge of nostalgia, it’s a fresh and unique interpretation that does justice to Master P’s original cut.
The Hip Hop cognoscenti often muses that Spitta is just one hit from reaching his full potential; he’s just one “Black And Yellow” away from reaching that upper echelon. MCC isn’t going to be that, but shows a deeper, more interesting sense of artistry than we’ve seen thus far and brings him one step closer to fulfilling that dream.