The third installment of the Pilot Talk series, reviewed.
After a near-decade of hustling, Curren$y has finally landed his prominent role in the rap scene. It wasn’t easy work, but anyone who has watched the New Orleans-native go from Lil Wayne’s sidekick to stoner rap’s most consistent contributor will tell you that much.
For his third Pilot Talk album, Curren$y didn’t reinvent the wheel, but he definitely refined it. His vision is clearer now more than ever: funny rhymes + some swaggy braggadocio + luxurious production = success. It also equates to a pleasant listen each time.
Production is handled primarily from Ski Beatz, who has produced the bulk of the Pilot Talk series. Along with him, Spitta enlists Cool & Dre, Harry Fraud, Jahlil Beats, and Joey Fatts, Curren$y has delivered yet another great album to his catalogue.
Cool & Dre, who offered five beats, crushed it with their instrumentals. “Opening Credits” begins with a tasteful sample courtesy of Double Exposure, providing the inspiration needed for Spitta to bring the listener up to speed. It’s been a long, strange trip for this “Modern Day Hippie,” but he emerged victorious…
“It was right around the time
I thought I had to move back with my mom
I had to sell my first lowrider
Halfway to the top
Went to sleep, woke up at the bottom”
He goes on to mention making the XXL Freshman cover along with trying to start a business with Dame Dash, but ultimately sweeps the lost hope and failed ventures under the rug, by saying he wouldn’t have changed a thing. It’s something that should be relatable for everyone.
The production duo brings the soul back by looping The Sylvers’ “How Love Hurts” on “All I Know.” Their manipulation of a golden music brings a very vintage, funky feel to the album. Flutes and percussion bring depth to the track, with a minute-long instrumental outro providing the exclamation point.
On “Cargo Planes,” Fatts uses a familiar David Axelrod sample that’s been used by Lord Finesse and Earl Sweatshirt, among others. Curren$y spits one of his realest rhymes ever when he says, “Hope for the hopeless / Ain't know it when I wrote it / But my lines saved a man life / When I met him he told me / In a meet and greet line with a jernt.” That’s some pretty heavy information from a dude with a Hot Wheels collection.
Of course, the MVP on the production side of things has to be Ski Beatz. His jazzy take on hip hop beats has been making waves for 20 years now, but there’s a certain magic when he links with Spitta. Judging by the productivity of their partnership, they know it too.
“Long as the Lord Say” is beautiful jazz fusion set to boom-bap drums. It gets the same long outro as “All I Know,” and acts as a beautiful spacer between Curren$y’s mentioning of “high-performance motors” and “frosty THC.”
“Get Down” is sunny and airy, led with finger-happy piano playing and a great bassline. The following “Sidewalk Stars” has an energy vibe like “Touch The Sky,” but with a funky, upbeat style that’s all its own.
The fifth installment of “Audio Dope” may be the finest one yet, as Curren$y demonstrates just how he got to the top. What follows, “Search Party,” “Briefcase,” and “Alert,” prove that Ski Beatz is still an elite beatmaker, not that he had to.
The features on Pilot Talk III are carefully selected. Wiz Khalifa, a longtime collaborator, appears on a track that will have fans feeling like it’s How Fly II. It’s great to see these two put out quality music together, expanding an artistic relationship that has been six years strong, and counting.
Jadakiss, who collaborated with Curren$y previously on “Clear,” delivers a compact, 12-bar rhyme on “Pot Jar.”
Meanwhile, a newer friend that goes by the name of Riff Raff actually delivers an impressive verse on the Harry Fraud-produced “Froze.” Aptly, it's one of the coldest records on Pilot Talk 3.
If Pilot Talk III isn’t Curren$y’s best album, it’s right up there. The music is just purely enjoyable. He’s a charismatic dude with a great attitude, witty lyrics, and a great ear for beats. Match that with 10+ albums and 30+ mixtapes and you have, dare we say it, a pretty legendary dude. Spitta’s found his lane and is in pilot mode. What else would you expect from a Jet Lifer?