I remember when I was high school and social media was experiencing a shift because at the time teens were venturing into different social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter. Social media had opened the doors for me when it came to discovering and sharing music. I remember when I started listening to different artists and came across Curren$y’s song, “The Seventies” from his album, Jet files (2009) while scrolling through Tumblr. His rhymes were so smooth and relaxed over a beat unlike anything I had ever heard before.
“Never seen lions pouncin’ on their prey
Real shit, that’s how I approached the beat today
These, niggas is slippin’, butterfingers going to the bar”
Back in 2010, his music sort of became the soundtrack to the “hypebeast” era, which thankfully died out as quick it started, but his music withstood and surpassed the era. His music was able to continuously be recognized for the quality content that was and still is. I’m always baffled when I see the lack of recognition for his work and ingenuity. I’m even more baffled when people tell me that they don’t listen to his music. I believe that he is one of the most slept on artists out here.
Shante Franklin better known as Curren$y or Spitta is a New Orleans native. Back in 2002, Franklin’s music career started out at No Limit Records with rapper, Master P. He was a member of 504 Boyz. One of their songs, “Get Back” was featured in the film Malibu’s Most Wanted (2003). He had the opportunity to work with the late, Soulja Slim and C-Murder.
However, in 2004 he decided to sign with Cash Money Records and Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, which made him the first artist of Young Money. While working alongside Lil Wayne he was featured on Wayne’s Dedication 2 mixtape along with many other unreleased songs.
In 2006, he released Music To Fly To, which featured his lead single, “Where Da Cash At” and made his Young Money debut. The lead single featured Lil Wayne and Remy Ma. Currensy’s flow on the song was unlike anything the game had been hearing at the time and overall the track just flowed because Wayne and Remy’s rhymes were cohesive with his. I remember when the song released and I saw the music video on MTV. I was hooked even as just a little preteen because I had a thing for captivating beats with tantalizing lyrics that give me a peep into rappers’ lavish lifestyles.
He parted ways with Young Money in 2007. In 2016, he was one of the guests on the Drink Champs podcast. It was so fascinating to listen to him discuss his career, how it started out and the people he had the opportunity to work with. I remember him saying on the show that he just didn’t feel like Young Money wasn’t a great fit for him because he wasn’t a gangster and didn’t rap about guns or anything like that. He went on to say that he felt like his music didn’t match what Young Money represented.
After the discovery of his Jet Files album I stayed up to date on his work. Some of my favorites are Independence Day, Verde Terrace, New Jet City, Covert Coup, which was a collaboration album with The Alchemist, the Pilot Talk Trilogy and honestly the list could go on. In 2010, I heard one of my favorite songs, “Address”, which featured rapper, Stalley and was one of the singles off the Pilot Talk album that was released that same year. On the track the artists rap about where they have been around the world and how despite where they have gone, they have never abandoned their roots. What stood out to me the most with his music is that on the surface he seemed to just be rhyming about a lavish lifestyle that consists of car, clothes, weed and women, but when you really sit and listened you noticed how he discusses his hardships and triumphs. In most of his songs, the content consists of his work ethic, his confidence in his craft, financial woes and etc. which he touched on in one of his tracks called “Opening Credits” off his album Pilot Talk III.
In 2011, Shante Franklin started Jet Life Recordings under Warner Bros. with Covert Coup being one of the first projects to be released under it. Jet Life Recordings has a lineup of artists that include T.Y., Cornerboy P, Mary Gold, who is the first female artist and Tiny C-Style. As Franklin’s career progressed he began expanding and working with a lot of legendary artists like Juvenile, Jadakiss and Styles P along with up and coming artists such as, Big K.R.I.T., Trinidad James and Jet Life’s own, T.Y. In addition, he worked closely with friend and fellow rapper, Wiz Khalifa on their collaboration album, Live In Concert.
Curren$y is indubitably one of the most consistent and hardworking artists in the rap game. He is an independent artist, which he has found a lot success with throughout his career. Curren$y’s level of dedication as an independent artist is what keeps him thriving with a following as dedicated as he is. Back in 2016, he released a mixtape every month that year. He goes on tour regularly, releases projects regularly and has total control over his music. Most importantly, as an independent he has a lot of freedom to execute and pursue his visions as he pleases. He’s been in the game for about 16 years now and has released over 35 projects overall, which include albums, mixtapes, and collaboration projects.
Constantly pushing out work and content is his main focus these days. Back in February he released The Spring Collection, which is full of songs that you can sit back and vibe to. One of my favorite songs is “Not Really Down.” According to his Instagram account, he will be releasing Parking Lot Music and Back at Burnie’s later on this month. Curren$y’s slick, laid back rhymes about work ethic, women, weed and fashion over complimenting beats is what sets him apart in a rap game that mostly consists of trap music. Only time will tell what the future holds for Spitta.