With the internet’s rise as a marketing resource practically replacing street teams and aggressive advertising campaigns, the altruistic strategy of giving away free music (popularized by 50 Cent and Lil Wayne before their mainstream successes) has become the standard means of attaining promotional buzz for touring and retail purposes. Hailing from New Orleans, Curren$y has built his Jet Life movement as a leading beneficiary of this branding method, following unfruitful alliances as an underdog with his hometown’s recording staples [No Limit and Cash Money Records] and a more recent allegedly soured relationship with Dame Dash’s BluRoc imprint. Having overcome numerous industry woes, his tireless determination, resilience and consistent work ethic have led to his first official major label release The Stoned Immaculate.
Provided a budget allowing access to an array of producing and rapping collaborators, The Stoned Immaculate finds the self-proclaimed “forefather of Lifestyle Rap” met with the challenge of pleasing his core, while casting a net that hopes to introduce his mellow aesthetic to a larger audience. Curren$y succeeds in this regard as Bink! and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League respectively add cinematic flair comparable to that of Rick Ross’ larger than life Maybach Music Group on “What It Look Like” featuring MMG’s Wale, and the Marsha Ambrosius accentuated “Take You There.” Pulling off what could be considered a creative miracle, the N.O. visionary stays true to himself while partaking in the nearly obligatory trend of working with 2 Chainz on “Capitol,” and the formerly omnipresent Pharrell’s Auto-Tune crooning on “Chasin Paper” is another asset that doesn’t ring off as tawdry.
The Stoned Immaculate’s attempts at progression are evened out by selections tailored for supporters of Curren$y’s signature off-kilter flow and flamboyance popularized on the Pilot Talk series done under the tutelage of veteran Ski Beatz. While familial ties to production team Monsta Beatz remain intact as their contributions to the album include “Armoire” featuring his crew’s co-pilots “Young Roddy & Trademark Da Skydiver, newer chemistry is achieved with West Coast legend Daz on Fast Cars Faster Women.” Scarce weak moments arise from “Sunroof,” giving further life to an overused sample (Arthur Verocai’s “Na Boca do Sol”) and the over the top energy of “No Squares” featuring Wiz Khalifa, a seeming attempt to replicate the recent Watch The Throne duo’s essence. These drawbacks aside, Curren$y’s big league debut The Stoned Immaculate remains faithful to the spirit of his beloved witty arrogance, while bolstered by star power intended to propel his career at this pivotal stage.