Shante Scott Franklin, better know as Curren$y, has been making a name for himself in the rap game. Having worked with the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Raekwon and Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y is definitely an artist worth knowing about, and his latest album, Covert Coup, shows why that is.
I must say, not being too familiar with Curren$y I did not know what to expect. After listening through Covert Coup though, I now see why he has gained the attention that he has.
To begin with, production by Alan Daniel Maman, better known as The Alchemist, makes this album that much better. Each track is ear-candy as The Alchemist utilizes unconventional samples that range from soul, to breakbeat. Add in Curren$y’s smooth flow, and you have a combination that is absolutely enjoyable. The album may bring to mind Madvillain’s Madvillainy, with its short tracks, a sound unfriendly to commercial radio and a blending of great production and rhymes.
“BBS” starts off with soulful bass lines, piano and guitar, while Curren$y reflects on life in the rap game. The haunting, melancholic production is great as it helps propel Curren$y’s rhymes into the listener’s ears.
“The Type” is a combination of reverberated synths, spacey sounds and percussion hits. Prodigy, of Mobb Deep fame, is an added treat to an already enjoyable track.
“Patty-cake, patty-cake, I’m baked my man,” begins “Life Instructions.” The Alchemist really shows off on this track; the bass and guitar lines are infectious. “I’m kinda high,” rhymes Curren$y on “Smoke Break.” The groovy, almost psychedelic sounding “Smoke Break” fits well with Curren$y’s slow-paced, yet sporadic rhymes.
“Scottie Pippen” stands out because of guest rapper Freddie Gibbs. Doing double-time rhymes, Freddie Gibbs’ style stands in complete contrast to Curren$y’s, but both styles work together very well.
“The toxic air that I’m breathing would leave a average man weakened,” rhymes Curren$y on “Ventilation.” Rapping about his weed-smoking, Curren$y’s rhymes just flow over The Alchemist’s spacey production.
“Heavy Metal” is a fitting title for Covert coup’s last track. Heavy bass and cymbal crashes, the production is booming, and Curren$y’s delivery goes well with it. “I spit the picture so vivid because I really live it,” rhymes Curren$y over bullet shots and other explosive sounds.
Clocking in at about 28 minutes, Covert Coup is arousing and highly listenable. The album is focused, which may not seem like it due to its surreal atmosphere. Curren$y and The Alchemist make a great duo as unconventional production and dense lyricism come together to create something new and refreshing. Every song is worth listening to, although there are some that you will just constantly have on repeat.
Underneath Covert Coup’s haze are quirky lyrics and enjoyable sounds that will sneak up on you, having your finger press the replay button over and over again as you hear a new rhyme or note you had not heard before. Strong, creative and impressive, Covert Coup is more than just a 4/20 album; it stands out, pushing the boundaries of rap and taking risks that end up working. Not only that, but it’s free. So, download the tracks and just lay back, because from beginning to end Covert Coup will grab your attention, and leave you wanting more.