Mixtape Review-The Motivational Speech by Curren$y & Lex Luger
Simple story: 2 critically important figures in the history of hip hop link up and prove to the world why they had the power to change it in the first place. If you roll back through Luger’s best beats none of them are timestamped or outdated. Luger changed how trunks rattled forever he redefined loud for a generation and he’ll never lose that touch. From the opening song of The Motivational Speech (Get to It) the bass comes like a tsunami and the 808’s dance over top of the waves.
In six songs Curren$y manages to add an important paragraph to his legacy. When his brilliant Pilot Talk series was reissued in one set we all had to reassess Spitta’s place in history. Back when he was dropping projects fast and furious the rep was that he was a rap machine who could drop an EP every week. The Motivational Speech highlights a very different aspect of the New Orleans legend (sorry, all time great MC). As underground and independent as he is Curren$y has smash hit songs that stick in your head and form a titanic playlist. From 2010’s Michael Knight to 2012’s Armoire to 2015’s Bottom of The Bottle to 2017’s Pressure or In The Lot. So many songs here are hooky melodic and sing a long worthy but each has the same lyrically unique perspective that draws you in. On Michael Knight Spitta said “I got high’d up so I could autograph the sky.” It set him apart in that he could bring tension hostility and danger to his verses but he also knew how to release it and marvel at the world.
He’s utilized that durability time and time again working with every important producer: Alchemist, Harry Fraud, TM88, Ski Beatz, Cool & Dre, Cookin’ Soul & on & on. He is always his own “so offbeat I’m back onbeat” self but the textures are different. Luger brings out the teeth, paranoia, and deep determination he first committed to history on the most beautiful album about asserting independence (Pilot Talk). I love The Motivational Speech and I would love more collaboration between Luger and Spitta but I love just about every major project he releases. If he wants to make a more polished radio friendly Canal Street Confidential or talk fly @$$ ISH like Legend of Harvard Blue I’m too deep into appreciating to send requests. I love all directions of Spitta.
It is magic to hear an elite MC slay a Luger beat again. Luger proves to be the southern Just Blaze. Let The Motivational Speech teach you how to Just Enjoy This life.
Stream or download The Motivational Speech below:
Mixtape Review-The Owners Manual by Curren$y
It has not been easy to review mixtapes lately. While a lot of people are pleased as punch to see the upcoming on datpiff become available a lot of it sounds the same. Putting together daily playlists of new mixtapes I have more often than ever had to double check who I’m listening to. Which guy is this again?
I know why it’s happened; money tightened up industry-wide and that means a lot of artists are peaking at the smart kids test for help. Lot of people sound like Gucci or Waka or Drake; at some point the knock offs hurt the value of the original. I would love to be more excited for the new Future mixtape but everyone is doing Future. I can’t get away from his sound.
The Owners Manual is a great example of what I love about Curren$y, the richness and difference of his perspective and the uncompromising oddity of his flow and song structure. He makes references other people wouldn’t think about. On his last album 2015’s Canal Street Confidential (fantastic album) he’s flirting with a woman and says in his head “She looks like Lisa Lisa, I’ma take her home.” Where most rappers would have jammed in an Aaliyah reference Spitta has a whole different thought pattern.
The Owners Manual is a perfect follow up to his classic Pilot Talk album. While that collection of music was an articulation of the drive it takes to be a successful independent artist, this mixtape is the guide on how to handle being there. All throughout Spitta shares the everyday struggles of his happily ever after. Rain Stunts is a great example where he swings back and forth from saluting his progress to mumbling about how he didn’t change THEY did. “When you see me in it, know why I did it to show you you can get it if you stay committed. No country for quitters you’ll be eaten my N_” he mourns not being able to pass the weed to friends who passed away, that no money can bring them back. None of it ever feels overreaching or guilty of gooey sentiment, this is Curren$y so it’s just sparklingly conversational.
As blissfully soulful as the Cool & Dre production is, as gorgeously spun into the beat as these samples are…The Owners Manual has a lot of emotional shifting for six songs. Song five (Forecast) is blistering not just in the force of Spitta’s commitment to succeed but the paranoia. He worries “the police is on the internet downloading mixtapes tryin’ to get tips” and threatens ominously “Don’t try nothin’ funny crash test dummy or you’ll see your dealing with more than me.” That song pivots right into the last song (Mallory Knox) which is the most finger snapping Zapp & Roger soulful we get on the project. It’s rich and gratifying and a purely proper end for the project.
Curren$y has a musical intelligence that is hard to even estimate. Consider all the incredible producers he’s worked with: Ski Beatz, Alchemist, Cookin’ Soul, Cool & Dre somehow he always gets their best work. Is it something about him that makes them give up the good beats? Does he just have a great ear and won’t let wack beats in? Either way he’s a mixtape hall of famer and the only rapper who put out a mixtape in 2016 (so far) with a serious Batman reference “Umbrella in the door jammed, back just like Batman (Forecast).” Sometimes I think he’s so consistent that we are missing how brilliant each step is. Either way, he has been unique in an engaging way and so unique that he’s incredibly difficult to copy; tip the hat for that.
Download or Stream The Owners Manual below: