Curren$y Talks Evolving With Alchemist & “Applying” Himself More On “Continuance”

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New Orleans’s regional sound wasn’t exempt from the same narrative that downplayed the South’s success throughout the ’90s and early 2000s. However, regardless of the opinion on the music itself, it’s hard not to argue that No Limit and Cash Money kicked down doors at their heights. The incessant string of releases from No Limit between ’98 to ’99 should’ve earned the label its own section at record shops. Cash Money’s explosive rise in the late ’90s and early 2000s positioned Lil Wayne for his unparalleled mixtape run in the mid-aughts.

Despite the tension between the two camps, there were similarities in their approach to the music industry. And that’s Curren$y’s biggest takeaway from his time on both No Limit and Cash Money – how to become a machine. The ever-prolific 40-year-old MC has delivered countless projects in the span of 10 years, emerging victorious through the mixtape and blog era, to now, the streaming era. Since 2009, Spitta’s put out a minimum of three projects per year. 

“It made sense to live in the studio ‘cause that’s where you’re making your money off of so there’s really nowhere else for you to be,” Curren$y told HNHH of his time with No Limit and Cash Money. “If I was, like, a fucking bad bitch and I got paid ‘cause I was hot, I would be in club sections, like hosting, and that would be what gets me paid. But what gets me paid is the fucking studio because I can’t do shows if I don’t have songs. So, I just make songs.”

curren$y new interview

Image provided by the artist. Photo credit: Jet Life

Spitta and The Alchemist’s fourth joint project together, Continuance arrived in mid-February, a decade after their chemistry captivated the underground with Covert Coup. They worked together the past ten years on projects like Carrollton Heist and Fetti alongside Freddie Gibbs. However, their latest collaborative project puts those many years of chemistry on full display in their most ambitious effort together. Alchemist’s cloudy, smoke-filled world of hypnotic loops meets Curren$y’s hazy flow in an exceptional marriage of beats and bars. However, Spitta’s lyrical aptitude is glowing with an admitted chip on his shoulder from the years of being overlooked. 

My teachers would always tell me, ‘You’re making C’s and B’s and you’re not even here so like imagine if you applied yourself. You’d have straight A’s.’ So I was like, alright, let me apply myself a bit more, and people have made note of it. So, it’s not for nothing. You get out of it whatever you put into it,” he told HNHH of his latest project with Al.

Following the release of Continuance, we sat down with Curren$y via Zoom to discuss his collaborative streak with The Alchemist, bucket list collaborations, and the perfect weed strain to accompany Continuance


HNHH: How different was the approach with Continuance compared to Covert Coup?

Curren$y: Well, the first time, we didn’t know what we were doing. When I met Al, I just kept rapping over beats that day and then we’d end up with an album. We already had Carrollton Heist and Fetti under our belts, as well, by this point. So, I was like, people keep trying to make something be the next Covert Coup but if you say that, it’ll never live up to it. So we need to figure out a way to convey this without saying it, and thus, the Continuance was born. Sonically, first, and then, we named it maybe two weeks before it dropped. 

There were just a lot of names floating around last year. I think people even said Covert Coup 2.

Yeah, nah. It was initially titled Half Moon Bay. That was where we were when we recorded. We recorded the first half of it. There were only gonna be seven records at first. Then after we lined up again in L.A., I was like, ‘Nah, we gotta rename this.’ This is actually – this might be it. Maybe, we did it this time. ‘Cause, we weren’t trying to, you know? It was natural. Bam. This was it. Continuance was the perfect name. It essentially meant that we were back to business. 

You’ve dropped approximately six albums in a matter of months but fans were most excited about this one. 

Yeah, I knew it. Al did right to hold onto it. I wanted to put it out in December, right along with Pilot Talk but Al was like, ‘No, let’s hold on to it and give it a chance to breathe.’ And, I’m actually giving it a chance to breathe. So much so that I’m not about to drop again. I’m just chillin’ for a minute and letting it resonate. Let people catch up to it. 

I wanted to ask especially with the history that you and Alchemist had together, how is the chemistry between you two built up through Covert Coup, Carrollton Heist, and Fetti to now, Continuance? 

The first time I pulled up ever in life and was blown away by the soundscapes that he was pressing play on. It’s like one of those things when you go [to the studio] and you don’t wanna dip, but you gotta keep in mind, dude got a baby and shit. He’s got a life. You gotta let him roll but you really just want him to play loops all day. 

I’m guessing you grew up on a lot of Mobb Deep so talk to me about their influence on these collaborative efforts with The Alchemist. Prodigy appeared on Covert Coup and Havoc on Continuance

Yeah. Clearly, that was the way for me to make things come full circle. I’m real big on making sure I work with the people who kind of put me together without knowing me. That’s why I had Snoop on my first album. All that shit was important to me. It just so happened that we ended up developing a killer friendship. That was the same with putting Raekwon on Pilot Talk 2 and shit. All these people were hella important to me so that right there had to happen. 

“I’m real big on making sure I work with the people who kind of put me together without knowing me. That’s why I had Snoop on my first album. All that shit was important to me. It just so happened that we ended up developing a killer friendship. That was the same with putting Raekwon on Pilot Talk 2 and shit.”

Is there one person who influenced your sound that you haven’t worked with yet?

Mase. Jay-Z. You know, I shot the Monogram ad for Jay-Z but we didn’t go to the studio. Mase, I don’t know [laughs]. Mase – I don’t know. Mase is a reverend again, right? Or something. He’s like not [fucking with rap]. He’s not coming to the lab like to smoke an ounce with me or nothing. The Mase that I wanted to jam up with is not around. It’s all good. 

Ed. note: this interview was conducted prior to the release of Mase’s comeback track “The Oracle 2.” 

The Alchemist said that he found you to be more lyrically hungry on this one so, what was driving you lyrically on this?

The audacity of people for just overlooking how much work I put out, and the quality of it. So I was like, ‘Well, maybe we’re the only ones who think it’s dope. Maybe I should try a little more?’ Like, my teachers would always tell me, ‘You’re making C’s and B’s and you’re not even here so like imagine if you applied yourself. You’d have straight A’s.’ So I was like, alright, let me apply myself a bit more, and people have made note of it. So, it’s not for nothing. You get out of it whatever you put into it. I say that all the time and that’s the truth.

curren$y new interview

Image provided by the artist. Photo credit: Jet Life

How has that heightened focus shifted the creative process in comparison to the other projects that you’ve released within the past year? 

Well, I write fast and shit. I finish my verses super quick. I think this time, instead of just standing up like, I’ma go ‘head and lay it, I would sit with it for another ten minutes. And within that ten minutes, I might have scratched something out and said like, ‘Man, that would probably be harder.’ I don’t really give myself the chance to do that sometimes ‘cause I already feel like I nailed it. 

If you could work, if you could score, if you could [do that] without going to the gym, imagine if you did. I’m just checking to see how that works. That’s why I rolled the project out differently. That’s why I’m going to let it breathe for a while instead of beating it up with five more projects right behind it. I’m gonna just try to do this shit like rappers do it, and get what I’m supposed to get. Like, the bitch made the Billboard 200 and shit. So, I’m focused on making that bitch climb that chart shit right now. 

You had a very well-curated list of features, including Babyface Ray who many felt stole the show.  How did the featured artist on this project push you?

I wanted people to hear Ray on Alchemist’s production cause I was already familiar with his pen. I already fucked with him for a while. People just found out. So it’s like, what now? Y’all don’t even know how he can really get down. So I was honored that I could kind of usher that in for his listeners and mine. His more than that. Me and Larry [June] rapped on everybody’s fucking production except Al together. We had to do that. Havoc had to complete the Mobb fucking set-up. My ode to the Mobb. I need a verse from Havoc. I still need beats from him. Wiz is my brother, so we try not to make bags without involving one another. And, Styles is my fucking big homie. That’s what we gon’ do. We’re gonna do that. There’s not much else to talk about with that. That’s just what we gon’ do. We forever and ever. 

Just on the note of Babyface, what makes him so special for this generation of rap in your opinion?

Because he fits the look, and the style of it is right in between what the kids are doing and what the Gs did. Because the G’s are like, ‘these new kids…’ but they don’t know what to look for. I kinda know. He’s managed to put both of those realms together and still do his thing to where a motherfucker like me will be like, ‘Nah, we gotta get him on this album and shit.’ But also, somebody’s gonna hit him up for a strip club ‘’cause they know he gon’ bring to it. A trap record or some shit like that.

I was reading the Billboard article, the interview that you and Alc did, and you mentioned how working with Alchemist is like a time capsule. What was happening in your life when you were making projects like Covert Coup and Carrollton Heist?

Covert Coup, I was moving around after Pilot Talk 2. Record labels were trying to get me to do shit. I was like in the process of buying a Ferrari. Shit was going down. I didn’t have a steady girl at the time, just living. And it was in there. Then Continuance, I got my son. I got my kids and shit, doing the family thing. I bought the crib across the street from me and got my moms living across the street in this gated community and shit. That’s all dope. Now, that’s in there. We been locked in the house for a couple of years, life was different. Motherfuckers wore masks to go to the bank. Just shit – that’s crazy. It’s in there. 

No for sure. ‘’cause there’s one bar on “Final Board” that really stood out to me. “Threw myself into work, hide my hurt. I done mastered, Putting a mask on it, life in a pandemic. My two-year-old son didn’t ask for this.” What was the inspiration behind that bar?

I had him in 2018, and everything was sweet. And then, this shit… it wasn’t supposed to – what the fuck? It got like that. So fucking, I’m bummed that he’s had to go to events with a mask and that he even knows what that is. Flying with a mask, and complaining about having it on and shit like that. But now, with the laws lightening up, things are getting a little better. That’s why I said it’s good that I record that way with Al and talk about exactly what’s going on because it’s scrapbooking this shit for me. 

Is all of your music scrapbooking to you?

Not all of it, but project-wise, yeah. The complete body of work, yes. Because I’m like, ‘okay, I could liken it to what car I had. Same way I told you about Covert Coup, that’s when I bought this and such and such. So project-wise, I do that. Yeah. 

If you compare Continuance and Covert Coup to weed strains, what would they be?

Covert Coup is Andretti OG, check it out if you haven’t had it. Continuance is Grape Jelly, also grown at my Andretti Cannabis Co. because I was a die-hard OG strain consumer. I didn’t want nothing else. One of my best friends, Berner, he grows all this great fucking [strains] – Frosted Flake, Peanut Butter Drizzle Twist, Donut Sugar, Crumble Cookie, you know? And I’m like, man… I’ll try it because it’s my homie but I don’t really know. When other people come at me with shit like that, I don’t really fuck with it. So the Grape Jelly, one of my growers was like, ‘man, you really gotta try your hand at some of this kind of bud.’ I call it dessert weed because I’m like it’s not OG. Everything is named after some kind of snack but you gotta try your hand at it and that one hit me just like the OG did and that’s what Continuance has done to people. It came through just as Covert coup did. Just a little different, like, it’s Grape Jelly. It’s not Andretti OG but it will get you there in the same fashion, but different. Just an update. It’s not the same. We can’t do it again but we can do it as good, and we can bring you to a completely different experience that you will liken to the first time you experience this one thing. Because any initial high, you never gon’ find that same high again. You chasin’ the dragon, as people refer to. So Covert Coup was what it was, if you want something else to be that again you chasin’ the dragon. What you can do is realize that Continuance is right there. Like, they are two entities that can exist within the realm. It’s fine. And the people who get it, they got it. 

“Covert Coup is Andretti OG, check it out if you haven’t had it. Continuance is Grape Jelly, also grown at my Andretti Cannabis Co. because I was a die-hard OG strain consumer.”

You said that this project is a “breath of fresh air during a time when there’s a missing piece to hip-hop’s chain.” What do you think about the current state of rap as it is?

I think that the styles that are the most lucrative are not the more musical, in the sense of where the game originated. What inspired me to get into it, this sound is not reflective of it. What’s popular now – not what I do, and what some people that I deal with do. But, one thing calls for the next because if that music winnin’, so to speak, people realize, ‘Okay, I’ma hear that in the club and at the party. When we get into the car, let’s listen to Larry June or Spitta because this is cool, we’re just chillin’, get over there, then we’ll get there and we’ll do that shit ‘cause that’s inevitable.’ When we cut the radio on, that will be there. When we turn the TV on, it will be there, so we let the world vibe. So let’s do some of this player shit. It helps highlight what we already been doing.

curren$y new interview

Image provided by the artist. Photo credit: Jet Life

Freddie Gibbs tweeted something along the lines of ‘We’re not going to have rap in five years if people don’t start rapping again.’ Do you agree with that statement?

Yeah, because if nobody preserving the game and passin’ the game forward, it will. It’s like anything. It’s like whatever’s unknown. There are probably some sports and fashions like many customs that people don’t know of because mothafuckers stopped doing them before our lifetime so that’s it. I tell that to my homies about lowriding like, ‘Man, you gotta like push your kids, like, show your kids about these cars and shit because like if not, when we die, we gon’ take the game with us and then, nobody’s ever gon’ be different. 

Has there ever been talk about you guys doing a Fetti part 2? 

Nah, dude is doing his thing, and whenever the time permits, I guess we’ll line up. But I haven’t seen bro in quite some time. It’s peace. Whatever. We’ll see. 

One thing that’s always fascinated me about your story is your beginnings with New Orleans pillars like No Limit Records and Cash Money. What’s the biggest lesson you learned under Master P’s guidance or under Lil Wayne’s guidance that helped form the foundation of Jet Life?

Just to become a machine. It made sense to live in the studio ‘cause that’s where you’re making your money off of so there’s really nowhere else for you to be. If I was, like, a fucking bad bitch and I got paid ‘cause I was hot, I would be in club sections, like hosting, and that would be what gets me paid. But what gets me paid is the fucking studio because I can’t do shows if I don’t have songs. So, I just make songs. And fuck, like we saw, there was a time where we couldn’t move around so mothafuckers had to rely on their streams and shit like that to keep the lights on. 

“It made sense to live in the studio ‘cause that’s where you’re making your money off of so there’s really nowhere else for you to be. If I was, like, a fucking bad bitch and I got paid ‘cause I was hot, I would be in club sections, like hosting, and that would be what gets me paid. But what gets me paid is the fucking studio because I can’t do shows if I don’t have songs. So, I just make songs.”

You’ve emphasized your position as an executive with Jet Life’s releases. Do you see yourself taking a step back from rap at some point to specifically focus on that? 

When I step back, I ain’t focusing on none of this shit. When I step back, it’s all Cruz. So, I’ma just be with my son. This is like anything else, bro. I love this shit but this just hustling. Money Mitch loved hustling. He loved it, you know? But fuck, I’m pretty sure if he had got – now, we’re speaking of a fictional character – if he had got enough money or whatever, he would’ve given that shit up. Just like Super Fly wanted to fucking get the move, get the 30 bricks and fucking come up and make all this money and retire with a million dollars in cash in 1972. That was a fucking dream. A million dollars ain’t gon’ do it for me now. We fuckin’ shit a million, but there’s a number that I’ll get to where I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah. Now, I’m just gon’ play Monster Jam every day ‘cause I ain’t got shit else to do now.’

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