Curren$y: Time To Cash In
It’s amazing that some people still consider Shante Scott Franklin a new jack when it comes to the rap game. The 30-year-old has been around high profile acts since 2002, when he signed to Master P‘s No Limit Records as a member of the 504 Boyz. The New Orleans emcee has also been linked to Young Money and recently Damon Dash‘s BluRoc Records. Over the past couple of years he finally started getting the shine he deserved. Thanks mostly to the blog scene that assisted with pushing his ridiculous output of mixtapes in 2008. A XXL cover followed and now it appears that he’s finally on the verge of making some major noise in 2011. With his collaborative project with Alchemist (Covert Coup) and Muscle Car Chronicles on the way, Curren$y sat down with TWV to discuss the long road to success, watching Wiz Khalifa‘s meteoric rise, still being a new artist to people, where the Center Edge Territory album is at and why he didn’t end up on Kendrick Lamar‘s “Vanity Slave.”
TWV: How is the Muscle Car Chronicles different from any other project that you’ve put out thus far?
Curren$y: It’s all the way different. I recorded that before I even worked on Pilot Talk 1 & 2. That’s the first project I recorded when I started working with Dame Dash. When I started on that, Dame was still working on BlakRoc…that’s actually how I ended up being homies with him. I put a verse on BlakRoc 2. He let me hear some of the music he was putting together. Some of it was to my liking so I began smashing records out for Muscle Car Chronicles.
TWV: So why did you decide to release it now?
C: I’m giving the Pilot Talk series a break and now that I have this Warner deal that I’m about to put four projects out through. Muscle Car Chronicles was a project that Dame had in the safe. Wasn’t no point in holding it. We were just trying to find the right date to put it out.
TWV: You’ve been around for a minute but are still often considered new to a lot of people who may not have heard of you.
C: It’s a big deal. I know with the situations that I’ve been in, it just wasn’t my time. I wasn’t the focus at none of those points. So I started my own company and I’m able to make sure I have what I need. So now I can put out as much music as I want to. People are able to catch on to what this Jet Life shit is and they fuck with it.
TWV: You’ve got Covert Coup with Alchemist right around the corner…
C: Yeah. Covert Coup is from the word Coup D’etat, which means to overthrow. Covert meaning underground. So you have an underground nigga overthrowing the mainstream bullshit. That’s why I told everybody don’t trip off the Warner deal. That was me getting empowered to make music how we want it.
TWV: How did you link Alchemist?
C: I hooked up with Al under the premise of the records he had done. We ended up getting ten records done in a matter of days. I was like shit, that’s a project right there. At first we was going to go retail with it. But then we thought about it. Instead of fighting through the red tape with that project, we decided to give it away for free and get people up to speed on what we’ve done. That way, when we do go retail, it’s going to be a series just like I did with DJ Skee.
TWV: That’s a treat for the web since the internet has been the ones to push you.
C: There’s no politics and no payola; it’s the best thing about the internet. It’s all organic, genuine love. This project is from me to them. It’s the realest shit. The internet love is the fuel for the jet.
TWV: Coming from New Orleans, there appears to be a new sound that you could say is following in your footsteps. You have Jay Electronica and Dee-1 who focus more on the lyricism. What do you attribute that to?
C: Shit happens in waves. I bumped through and that inspired people who may have been bummed out because they weren’t getting that look to keep pushing. I’m the epitome of not getting a look. So when people see that I’m getting close to poppin,’ they feel like the opportunity is there for them to get it popping too. I’d like to be able to think that is what has sparked this movement. I can’t say that is exactly what did it for Jay Electronica because he’s been grinding. Dee-1 has been on his grind. But Dee-1 will tell me that I’m inspiration for him. That’s my homie. I like to check out what he’s doing.
TWV: How does it feel to be an inspiration to the up-and-comers when you are still young yourself. However, you’ve been around the game for much longer than most.
C: It’s cool man because I was inspired by people who built their own movements and showing you that it’s possible. To start your own movement, you have to be crazy at one point because so many people tell you not to do it. You’re going against so many things that are already in place. That was inspiration to me, so for anybody to say I’m an inspiration to them it kinda lets me know that I must be doing what I was always trying to do. I’m on the grind. For people to be inspired by me, who is a work still in progress is amazing.
TWV: You and Wiz have very similar stories with false starts with labels. But both of you are now hitting your strides in 2011.
C: It’s gangster man! We talked about it two years ago. We plotted this shit it and it’s cool to see it all coming to fruition. Now we’re counting money just like we talked about years ago.
TWV: As always, the question is asked when the next collaborative album with you and Wiz will be coming
C: I don’t know man. Schedules are crazy. Dude is like as big as Batman right now. In a minute we’ll have it. You know?
TWV: What’s the word with Center Edge Territory? We only got one song from you guys…
C: There’s more records but we’ll release them when they are needed. “The Day” is still making its rounds and there are people that haven’t heard it. When enough people who know about Center Edge, then we’ll be able to release the next record.
TWV: How much music do you expect to put out this year?
C: For me? I’d say about five projects.
TWV: Do you ever feel like you might be giving people too much?
C: Nah. Especially now. I used to put out mixtapes every month. So now three retail projects and a couple of mixtapes, that’s cool. Those free projects will hold everybody down so they can get used to my next series. Those same people want to support you. That’s why you have to show love with the free shit and they’ll go out and pick up the retail.
TWV: You were one of the inaugural freshman, which means you are a junior now. Are there any underclassmen that you haven’t had a chance to work with?
C: Kendrick Lamar. He sent me “Vanity Slave” but I never got the verse from him. It got lost in my email or something. Of course he had to put his music out, you can’t wait for anyone. So he put it out. But hopefully we’ll get to work together on some new music.