mixtapes-iconnews-iconsongs-icontop100-iconvideos-iconx-icon
preloader
loading...

NO LIMIT

CURREN$Y'S EVERYMAN DREAMS TURNED GRANDIOSE.

WORDS BY ROSE LILAH

PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILL STRAWSER


As we’re driving along the Route 61 highway in New Orleans, fresh off the plane, sufficiently sticky (cause it’s freaking New Orleans), and in desperate need of po-boy (cause what else), I spot what is most likely definitely intended to be lotus flowers decorating the highway’s “soundproof” concrete walls. The coming weekend is dedicated to the New Orleans staple and weed aficionado, Curren$y, and at first glance, the embellished lotus flowers look like weed leaves—there isn’t much detail apart from the leaves shooting up from a stem, and without that, each lotus flower simply looks a big weed leaf with a few extra leaves. I think of it as a good sign, foreshadowing the weekend to come.

Curren$y has been around. It’s actually weird to think about just how long this dude has been around for. The Hot Spitta, as he’s also referred too, kept a foot in the rap game in some form or another since the early 2000s. He had a stint with Master P, through friend C Murda, which helped solidify his presence in NOLA and beyond, cemented him with the right crew (even if they weren’t slanging what he was slanging), and helped sharpen his own business acumen and “game plan.” If there’s one thing you most likely do NOT associate with the weed-loving rapper, it’s being gangster. Still, it’s hard to deny that he was rolling with decidedly gangster crews for most of his early rap life. So, that begs a question, one I ask early on in our interview. Did Curren$y drastically change from his heyday with No Limit and Cash Money? I’m curious to know what he was really like then, from his own perspective— not the one that may be purveyed in old videos like “Where Da Cash At” (still a worthy record to jam). “I was the same,” Spitta says. “That’s why everybody fuck with me. I was in some real gangster situations my whole life, but I was always the same person. So, everybody just fucked with me cause I didn’t get caught up in that and then try to be like the muthafuckas I was around.”

“That’s why everybody fuck with me. I was in some real gangster situations my whole life, but I was always the same person. So, everybody just fucked with me cause I didn’t get caught up in that and then try to be like the muthafuckas I was around.”

A “super exclusive rare” interview with the rapper, shot right after No Limit and mid-Cash Money, has a noticeably young Spitta confirming: “I’m not gunna pull no gun out and tell you ‘this how I roll’…that ain’t really me. What’s me? Is this [knocks on hood of car] and that thing over [points to another car] and the Jag, that’s at my crib.” When I ask about this video, Curren$y adds: “Yeah I’m like, nah, that was all them, and I was like that’s cool, so don’t fuck with my cars and shoes because they’re probably gunna get pissed about it and do stuff. But I never had to do nothing. But I grew up like that— my family, my brothers, everybody I was related too, everybody that put me down, was so fucking official outside in that world, to where it was like, well we don’t know if his lil ass is crazy or not.”

So I ask, why didn’t Curren$y become a gun-toting, Blood-affiliated rapper? “Because a lot of them died. That’s fucking crazy, I wanna go home every day,” he says, further proving why he is one of the realest in the game. “Mufuckas was dying or in jail. As fun as this shit was, like I think back, a lot of shit was tight, but a lot of shit was really wack, and those problems, those consequences still exist now— like now I’m fucking grown, and so-and-so might have got in trouble when we was 17, but I still don’t see this muthafucka.” Curren$y went on to admit that he was almost “shell-shocked” from real life experiences— whether it be in rap (i.e. talented rappers getting killed too soon, namely Pac and Biggie) or closer to home (i.e. older brother’s friends getting killed as soon as he would get close with them). Curren$y is acutely real and acutely honest. It’s definitely a reason we are drawn to him as fans— he has a way of thinking and rapping that is completely relatable and packed with truisms— whether it’s the mundane, or something extremely serious like the risks of living a street life. I’ve often noticed his honesty in his lyrics, and it translates to our interview.

Filled up on fried oyster po-boys, we are directed by Curren$y’s long-time friend and manager, Mousa, to the rapper’s home in New Orleans. Spitta has never re-located from his birthplace. Former New Orleans residents, like Master P and Lil Wayne, moved to sunnier pastures , but Curren$y has ensured that New Orleans is always his home. Nonetheless, he did relocate from the Magnolia Projects, where he grew up, to a more exclusive part of town. As the GPS guides us to Curren$y’s home, we see mansions looming in the distance, on the edge of marshy waters. We pull up to a safely gated community, where we offer Spitta’s address to a guard sitting at the entrance, and wait for approval to be ushered in. We pass a variety of cream-colored homes and while the houses may vary in size and style, they are all rather large and they are all neutral-colored. This is obviously one of the luxuries Curren$y’s lengthy and successful career has afforded him— this gated community may belong to the same city, but it is in no way the hood he grew up in.

If you follow @spitta_andretti on Instagram, then you’d probably recognize his home because he’s not shy about posting photos of the vehicles parked in his driveway. His home is seated in a semi-circle, out of the way— perhaps on purpose— of the majority of homes, although it sounds like he still deals with neighbor issues. He’ll often have to move his cars when the neighbors complain that there are too many lined along the semi-circle, and he prefers not to smoke outdoors, else he encourage their stereotypes. Even without Instagram’s aid, there’s no question which home belongs to the self-proclaimed Hot Spitta as we pull up. Curren$y is waiting outside, with his trademark white socks and black-and-white Adidas striped flip-flops on—he immediately offers both beverages and weed. Although we don’t really give a firm answer, Spitta goes inside and comes back out shortly after with an actual see-through garbage bag of marijuana, a grinder, papers, and cans of Coke. I say I won’t be smoking at this exact moment in time, but he encourages me to roll and save it for later. As we see over the weekend, this is a sign of his character; Spitta is nothing if not a nice person. So I oblige, rolling a joint to smoke at a later juncture.

The semi-circle in front of Curren$y’s home is currently lined with vehicles, which include a matte blue Bentley and matte forest green Ferrari, and the drive-way is completely full: there’s a bright green, shimmering low-rider Impala, and a royal blue one as well, a few older vehicles that look like they haven’t really been taken out in a minute, for a total of ten cars. In the Ferrari-themed garage complete with red leather seating, choice Ferrari reading materials, and a light blue paint job, there’s only one car: Spitta’s rarely-used 360 Modena. Despite it probably being the most expensive vehicle in Curren$y’s roster, it seems to be his least favorite.

We’ve arrived just as Spitta plans to wash what may be his ‘baby’ of the batch, the green Impala. He washes it every time before he takes it out— and this isn’t a quick rinse, but a deliberate, slow washing, ensuring he gets all the crevices including under the wheels.

If there is only one thing you know about Curren$y— besides for him not being a gangster— it probably has to do with one of his three obsessions: weed, dogs, and cars. His Instagram page is basically a shrine to those three things and as that “super rare” YouTube video showed, this has been Spitta since day one. It has trickled over into everything he does, from the music he listens too, the music he makes, his lyrics, his day-to-day life, his label. It seems addictive, so I ask him and he agrees. “Yeah for sure. That’s why I draw the line at my recreation, cause if I even find out about something else…If I’m walking around with pounds now, it will probably be whatever it is of THAT, whatever that next shit is, so I don’t want none of that.”

This actually leads to an amazing anecdote about the first time he smoked a cigarette: “In the eighth grade, these chicks gave me one [cigarette], and I fucking coughed so hard, that when we got back to class, I told the teacher to let me out to go to the nurse, and I didn’t wanna tell her I smoked a cigarette, but see, my back was hurting. I coughed so hard I pulled something in my back, but in my mind it was the start of lung cancer. So I was like, I gotta get out class right now, I ruined my life. So I was like, ‘yo, my back hurts, a truck backfired out by the basketball court, and it enveloped me, and I breathed it all in and now..’And they’re like, ‘what?! We calling your mom.’ So my mom came to get me, and she brought me to the hospital, with the same story. The doctor’s like, ‘well, there’s some back trauma, he did do something, but I dunno if all of that is what happened.’ Then when we got home, this is the rest of it, there’s a commercial, an anti-drug commercial, and it was this guy who would turn into a fucking snake. It was a dude with a flat top, you can find it on YouTube, don’t fucking put it up in this ‘cause I don’t wanna see it. Watch it on your own, this shit’s terrible, they don’t need to see it. So there’s a fucking dude, he’s walking and tell you how cool drugs are, and how awesome they are, it makes you steal from your parents, and all this shit. He’s talking right, he’s walking, and the whole time he’s in the shadows his head is changing shapes, and when he comes back to the light he’s a fucking snake. So it scared the shit out of me, I got up and went into my mom’s room where she was sewing, and I’m like, ‘yo, I totally lied, I smoked a cigarette and that’s what happened. I’m sorry I shoulda just stayed in class and I’ll never do drugs.’ The cigarette wasn’t even drugs, but the shit scared me so hard, I was like don’t even think it’ll go further than this.”

After the car wash session we go inside and are quickly offered Wendy’s, which his girl is going to scoop up. She wants to use the Bentley, however Curren$y is reluctant to simply hand over the keys— instead he says he doesn’t have them/know where they are, but she manages to find them. After Curren$y grabs a shower we get to see two more of his collections: his dogs and his miniature cars. The cars (which are seriously scattered all over the house, on various tables and coffee tables) are coated with a light layer of dust, and an industrial mop occupies space in Curren$y’s open and large- windowed living room. Before inviting us inside, he warned us his house was “lived in.” The dogs, as he tells us now, have chewed up the edges of his walls, leaving brown bite marks where there was once white paint. I look up at the extremely high ceiling and there is a chandelier with cobwebs. It is far from pristine, but this is just who Curren$y is, he’s a regular ass guy. His life is lived-in.

“I had a dog when I had a shitty apartment. I had a fucking Pitbull that grew to 130 pounds. And I told him when I first got him ‘bruh, Ima figure this out.’”

Curren$y’s had a love of animals since he was young. He grew up with a miniature Colli named Jeffrey. Since his rapping career has afforded him the opportunity to grow his various addictions collections, dogs have taken over his home. There are four English bulldogs inside, while outside are the (meaner) Pitbulls, including one who is pregnant. “I had a dog when I had a shitty apartment. I had a fucking Pitbull that grew to 130 pounds. And I told him when I first got him, he lives at his mom’s house now, ‘bruh, Ima figure this out,’” Spitta says. He definitely figured shit out.

He grew his love of Pitbulls with the assistance of a friend who also bred them. “My one homie was breeding Pitbulls and I had two other big homies that was doing other stuff with Pitbulls, and I used to go over and tend to the yard and help with the puppies and shit. One of them, I kinda fell in love with and he let me have it, and I brought that home and my mom figured it was alright so she let me keep it. After that, I went dog crazy, once she let me have that one dog. I put up a fence at the house, they didn’t have a fence, I put a fence up and then after that I was like, ‘well I’m kinda the man in here now.’ So I just went dog nuts, and she never cared.”

His mom is an important person in his life, and her approval, while not absolutely necessary, will definitely sway him one way or the other. Despite all the violence she saw during the early 2000s, a time in which Curren$y says “everybody was rapping and killing,” she still supported her son 100% and believed in his career, even if his father was a bit weary. “When I left Cash Money, everybody thought everything ‘bout to go to shit. I was honest about it. I was like, ‘well, fuck, I’m about to be broke, shit’s gunna get all fucked up.’ My mom was like, ‘do what you gotta do.’ My dad was panicking, he’s like, ‘you gotta go get a job or what you gunna do?’ My mom was like, ‘he can’t get a job, if he get a job, nobody out here is gunna fucking wanna hear what he’s talking about if he fucking works.’ So my mom was like, ‘just chill.’ I had a fucking Dodge Viper truck at the time, and I didn’t buy it flat out, I was paying a note on it. So my mom was like, ‘you can’t get a none of this shit repo’d, you gotta keep all your shit, so fucking fix your Lowrider, I’ma pay the note on the truck, and everything will be straight.’ So every time she thought something was fucked up she just hit me— that’s why my mama get whatever.”

After a bit of playtime with his furry friends, and a photo shoot for us, Curren$y is on his way to the shop where he spends most of his time, Street Customs. He co-owns Street Customs with Mousa, and it’s a relatively short distance from his home, on the Chef Menteur Highway. It’s not a flashy location, and the shop is pretty small— they haven’t moved since they were established in 1998. We follow behind Curren$y’s green Impala as he pulls a few stunts along the way, using his hydraulics and driving on three-wheels. That’s actually why he’s going to the shop in the first place, he messed up one of his wheels doing the same trick a day or two earlier.

Street Customs is basically Curren$y’s 9-5, although it’s not just Monday through Friday, because it seems like pretty much any day of the week, chances are you’ll find him laying around Street Customs, offering up advice on any Lowrider in the shop, sprawling on the extremely worn-in leather couches in the junk-filled waiting room, or perhaps rolling a joint in the back of the shop. He doesn’t seem to manage anyone directly, but it’s obvious his presence is important to the well-being of the shop— something which he iterates during the annual Fourth of July BBQ held at Street Customs. We want to get some alone time with Curren$y, but he can’t leave the BBQ for too long otherwise it may just die down. He’s a driving force for the shop, and definitely a benefit for their economy and growth.

Although he’s not really a big guy and he doesn’t bring a massive posse wherever he goes; Curren$y is unquestionably a leader. People, (including Street Customs) rely on him, and he doesn’t mind. He does his best to ensure these people are well taken care of, and it’s something which has been on his mind since he was young, even fueling his decision to leave Cash Money. “Just the fact that I got a lot of partners, I got a lot of shit I gotta do for people, that I couldn’t play the role, I couldn’t do all of that and play the role that I was in, in there,” Curren$y says of why he left the roster. “Cause yeah, as an artist, in a minute I would be able to make some moves for my homies to do music and I could impact the shop with Mousa and do all this shit, once I garner enough attention over here, but I don’t have time. So I just figured I could go in a different route, underground, but just claim so much of it, it’ll be like I’m mainstream, and that’s what panned out.” That’s actually exactly what he did— Spitta is still in that underground arena, with a cult-like following, but in no way could we really call him a mainstream rapper. How did he pull this off? Although you won’t find Curren$y in the trap, he provides a great drug-dealing analogy for how he views his music. These business lessons were apparently passed on from Master P/Lil Wayne, but I get the feeling it’s also an effect of being a smart observer, being inside such serious situations and learning from them, adapting them. “You could actually make all the bricks yourself,” Spitta says of the music business. “Because it’s music. The crazy thing about the drug game, is, we can’t make bricks of cocaine, we can’t do it, we gotta go and get that shit from somebody— so you gotta take money to make money. This shit is outta here [points to his head], so make as many fucking bricks as you want. When do you wanna go to sleep? Make as many as you want, and fucking do what you gotta do with them. So it’s crazy. That’s why I make so many tapes, cause fuck it. You can do that shit when you want to, and it’s gunna run, it’s gunna grow legs, and if you put it out free, enough people dig the shit, you getting booked for shows, and you fucking charge ‘em for a brick! Not to make it so drugs-y, I’m not Scarface,” he adds.

"So I just figured I could go in a different route, underground, but just claim so much of it, it’ll be like I’m mainstream, and that’s what panned out."

He may not be Scarface, but he definitely relays enough rhymes about his drug of choice: marijuana. Surprisingly, he wasn’t out here smoking since he was thirteen (although he first hit a blunt in eighth grade, but only because if he didn’t he “might have been the feds,” and the one hit didn’t get him high). His love affair with Mary Jane only began in College, through a girl he was seeing at the time. “After that [time in eighth grade], in college, my girlfriend, she was a notorious pothead, this girl I was fucking with,” Curren$y says. “I used to be a fucking total buzzkill to her, like, ‘dawg, you gon’ smoke another blunt? Can we go eat, are you high enough?’ So one day she was like, ‘bruh, please, just hit it, just hit the weed.’ So I’m smoking with her and we watching Chris Rock, I don’t remember the name of the stand-up it was. But I thought we were watching Martin Lawrence “You So Crazy”— I saw Martin Lawrence and heard Martin Lawrence, in my mind I just knew that’s what this was. I was like, ‘this is it, I need to stay just like that.’ That was it.”

Of course, it’s not that simple for everyone with a weed habit— it’s known to make you lazy, unmotivated, probably gluttonous for snacks (Spitta often requests snacks be brought to his live shows, from Starbusts to Gushers). Nonetheless, the weed connoisseur affirms “some of the good things that weed can do” when I ask. “Look at all of this shit. Weed did it,” he says, pointing to the array of cars, the general scene at Street Customs, where we’re conducting the interview. “See, if I woulda gave into the situation. Like, ‘I’m here, let me do this kind of stuff,’ then I would have never known who I was and I would just be making music—‘this beat sounds like a war song, I’m gunna write that, this sounds like a song about bitches, I’m gunna write that.’ And I would never have done anything. But— the weed was like, ‘nah dude, here you go. I’m so tight that you’re just gunna wanna talk about me and whatever you do after me.’ And poof, it worked. It’s tight. Weed did it. That’s why I said that like, I AM some of the good things.”

Curren$y hosts a weekly “Jet Lounge” at the New Orleans club, House of Blues, in the French Quarters, and it’s a weed smoker’s dream. As Mousa ushers us inside the club that evening, for a pre-Fourth of July celebration, he says that this is the only place where one can freely smoke inside in NOLA— obviously it’s not exactly legal, but no one fucks with them. As we enter I see little clouds of smoke float up in the air, separated by the various patches of people. As the night wears on, especially after Spitta’s arrival around 1 AM, both the clouds of smoke and the crowd become thicker. Always a considerate the host, Curren$y makes the rounds and socializes with just about any and everyone. When he greets us, one of his first questions is if we have enough kush. I mention I’m saving that one joint I rolled for later, and, almost appalled, Curren$y scolds me for not rolling more. He shakes his head, telling me he has no idea where he even left that bag of weed, he thinks someone else took it, but it was close to two ounces. That’s how much weed he has at his disposal and how generous he is with it; he’s generous with all things though, not just weed. He shares what he’s smoking on before continuing on with his social obligations.

The next day, we plan to meet up with Curren$y for their annual Fourth of July BBQ hosted at Street Customs shop. After waiting a few hours for Spitta, my stress levels begin to show, but Mousa, with his laid-back mannerisms and Southern drawl, tells me not to worry. This is the attitude that is prevalent in both Mousa and Spitta— they live an easygoing lifestyle, helped along by the weed and the slow-moving South. Time moves slower here.

Although the BBQ had been called for 3 PM, by the time it’s 3:30 PM only a fridge and a grill have arrived. There are a few scattered people around the shop, but, it’s mostly empty. Around 5 PM, the charcoal grill is lit and the speakers are brought outside. The DJ begins blasting some Southern favorites like Big K.R.I.T. and UGK, appropriate trunk-rattling music to kick off with. When Curren$y arrives, he also tells me not to stress, he tells me everything we want to happen will happen— it’ll just be on the New Orleans time, which basically means there will be no schedule at all. After knocking out a video piece with us in the merchandise room of Street Customs’ shop, he rolls me a joint and demands I smoke it as soon as I exit the shop. I oblige. Curren$y is likeable in this way; he’s a jokester and he’s good-natured both on and off the camera. His personality, as he tells us, is “on” all the time— he doesn’t need to turn it “on” for the cameras, unlike some “gangster” rappers. He doesn’t need any direction for the photo shoot either— he just is who he is.

Curren$y has got to be one of the most consistent rappers in the game. I don’t just mean, he’s consistently dropping shit. He is doing that, obviously, with the 2009 collaborative album with Wiz Khalifa arriving shortly, as well as a Sledgren-produced project titled Revolver, another project he’s been teasing lately called Canal St Confidential, among others. Just last week he delivered a free EP, in fact, titled Cathedral. I mean the fact that his style, his sound, his story— they all remain consistent. Unlike his frequent collaborator Wiz Khalifa, whose grand evolution we have witnessed before our eyes, you’ll never see Curren$y step out and attempt the trap trend, or put on a pair of rock’n’roll –tight pants. What does he think of his constantly-changing rockstar friend, Wiz? “He’s a planet. That dude’s a planet, and that’s all he ever fucking wanted to be,” Curren$y says. “All I ever wanted to be was fucking the Lowrider champion of the world, so we both nailed it.”

Even if Wiz’s appearance changes, or if he experiments with various styles (not to mention DJing), Spitta isn’t worried: “Soon as I fucking roll up, I know who it is. I know. It don’t matter if he fucking look like captain Jack Sparrow when I get there, I know who’s in there. So it’s all good, and the music come out how it come out. Fucking Big Boi and Andre,that shit didn’t…Three Stacks was coming out with shoulder pads and shit on, and that shit was still the same. That’s still my brother. And he got two Lowriders at the house.”

I have to throw a question or two his way about his collaboration with Wiz, the aforementioned 2009. “We did half of it together, and the other half, we were laying it down [from a distance], and we were both like I would rather just…fuck that shit, I don’t wanna do it like that. He was sending me verses, I was sending him verses, we could do it that but we’d rather just wait.” Don’t fret, because they still have an ample amount of material to release it, “We got enough to where we could put it out— I could put it out tonight and he’d have to just be like, ‘ah man.’ But I think we should wait until August because that’s when How Fly came out.”

On our third and final day in the heat that is New Orleans (and Curren$y assures me it’ll just get hotter as the summer months wear on), I finally have my one-on-one time with Spitta. It was originally planned for day one, but things followed the New Orleans time schedule, not my meticulously-planned itinerary. We meet up at the shop, where Curren$y is in the midst of rolling himself a j. We meet up with Curren$y by himself, and although he definitely has friends who drop in, there is no lurking manager, no 10-man entourage. Nonetheless, don’t be mistaken, people seem to gravitate towards Curren$y both at the shop and elsewhere in NOLA, even though he is neither the loudest nor the most opulent person in the room. He reflects an aspect of realness sometimes lost in hip-hop, not the over-the-top “look-at-me” lifestyle that flashier rappers are selling. Perhaps because Spitta never had grandiose dreams, he had realistic, everyman desires.

“A yard for my dog, a crib for my main bitch,” he rapped on “Hold On,” a line that has always stuck with me. I ask Curren$y what’s next, then? He’s got the yard, he’s got the crib. He says, “Yeah it’s fucking nuts, done, done. So I dunno, now it’s, fucking, a house that we’re getting that’s in my neighborhood so that I could put all my cars inside of it. There’s a ruined house in my neighborhood, we buying it, to fix it. It’s gon’ look like a regular house on the outside, but once the garage door open up, you just ride into the house, cause it’s not [a] house, we just gon’ lay concrete down. So that’s what next, a house for my cars. That’s not some shit I expected, because I really, I drew all the cars I wanted…All the cars I wanted was on the Pilot Talk cover. I got all that shit a minute ago.” He continues, making sure we’re aware that the extra shit, the glossy shit, that wasn’t in the “plans,” that wasn’t a part of his childhood fantasy.

As I ask my final question, Spitta hands me the joint he’s been toking. I inhale a puff or two and quickly return it, but Curren$y shakes his head and insists I take more. That’s just the kind of guy he is.

Text
CLOSE
preloader

NO LIMIT

CURREN$Y'S EVERYMAN DREAMS TURNED GRANDIOSE.

WORDS BY ROSE LILAH

PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILL STRAWSER


As we’re driving along the Route 61 highway in New Orleans, fresh off the plane, sufficiently sticky (cause it’s freaking New Orleans), and in desperate need of po-boy (cause what else), I spot what is most likely definitely intended to be lotus flowers decorating the highway’s “soundproof” concrete walls. The coming weekend is dedicated to the New Orleans staple and weed aficionado, Curren$y, and at first glance, the embellished lotus flowers look like weed leaves—there isn’t much detail apart from the leaves shooting up from a stem, and without that, each lotus flower simply looks a big weed leaf with a few extra leaves. I think of it as a good sign, foreshadowing the weekend to come.

Curren$y has been around. It’s actually weird to think about just how long this dude has been around for. The Hot Spitta, as he’s also referred too, kept a foot in the rap game in some form or another since the early 2000s. He had a stint with Master P, through friend C Murda, which helped solidify his presence in NOLA and beyond, cemented him with the right crew (even if they weren’t slanging what he was slanging), and helped sharpen his own business acumen and “game plan.” If there’s one thing you most likely do NOT associate with the weed-loving rapper, it’s being gangster. Still, it’s hard to deny that he was rolling with decidedly gangster crews for most of his early rap life. So, that begs a question, one I ask early on in our interview. Did Curren$y drastically change from his heyday with No Limit and Cash Money? I’m curious to know what he was really like then, from his own perspective— not the one that may be purveyed in old videos like “Where Da Cash At” (still a worthy record to jam). “I was the same,” Spitta says. “That’s why everybody fuck with me. I was in some real gangster situations my whole life, but I was always the same person. So, everybody just fucked with me cause I didn’t get caught up in that and then try to be like the muthafuckas I was around.”

“That’s why everybody fuck with me. I was in some real gangster situations my whole life, but I was always the same person. So, everybody just fucked with me cause I didn’t get caught up in that and then try to be like the muthafuckas I was around.”

A “super exclusive rare” interview with the rapper, shot right after No Limit and mid-Cash Money, has a noticeably young Spitta confirming: “I’m not gunna pull no gun out and tell you ‘this how I roll’…that ain’t really me. What’s me? Is this [knocks on hood of car] and that thing over [points to another car] and the Jag, that’s at my crib.” When I ask about this video, Curren$y adds: “Yeah I’m like, nah, that was all them, and I was like that’s cool, so don’t fuck with my cars and shoes because they’re probably gunna get pissed about it and do stuff. But I never had to do nothing. But I grew up like that— my family, my brothers, everybody I was related too, everybody that put me down, was so fucking official outside in that world, to where it was like, well we don’t know if his lil ass is crazy or not.”

So I ask, why didn’t Curren$y become a gun-toting, Blood-affiliated rapper? “Because a lot of them died. That’s fucking crazy, I wanna go home every day,” he says, further proving why he is one of the realest in the game. “Mufuckas was dying or in jail. As fun as this shit was, like I think back, a lot of shit was tight, but a lot of shit was really wack, and those problems, those consequences still exist now— like now I’m fucking grown, and so-and-so might have got in trouble when we was 17, but I still don’t see this muthafucka.” Curren$y went on to admit that he was almost “shell-shocked” from real life experiences— whether it be in rap (i.e. talented rappers getting killed too soon, namely Pac and Biggie) or closer to home (i.e. older brother’s friends getting killed as soon as he would get close with them). Curren$y is acutely real and acutely honest. It’s definitely a reason we are drawn to him as fans— he has a way of thinking and rapping that is completely relatable and packed with truisms— whether it’s the mundane, or something extremely serious like the risks of living a street life. I’ve often noticed his honesty in his lyrics, and it translates to our interview.

Filled up on fried oyster po-boys, we are directed by Curren$y’s long-time friend and manager, Mousa, to the rapper’s home in New Orleans. Spitta has never re-located from his birthplace. Former New Orleans residents, like Master P and Lil Wayne, moved to sunnier pastures , but Curren$y has ensured that New Orleans is always his home. Nonetheless, he did relocate from the Magnolia Projects, where he grew up, to a more exclusive part of town. As the GPS guides us to Curren$y’s home, we see mansions looming in the distance, on the edge of marshy waters. We pull up to a safely gated community, where we offer Spitta’s address to a guard sitting at the entrance, and wait for approval to be ushered in. We pass a variety of cream-colored homes and while the houses may vary in size and style, they are all rather large and they are all neutral-colored. This is obviously one of the luxuries Curren$y’s lengthy and successful career has afforded him— this gated community may belong to the same city, but it is in no way the hood he grew up in.

If you follow @spitta_andretti on Instagram, then you’d probably recognize his home because he’s not shy about posting photos of the vehicles parked in his driveway. His home is seated in a semi-circle, out of the way— perhaps on purpose— of the majority of homes, although it sounds like he still deals with neighbor issues. He’ll often have to move his cars when the neighbors complain that there are too many lined along the semi-circle, and he prefers not to smoke outdoors, else he encourage their stereotypes. Even without Instagram’s aid, there’s no question which home belongs to the self-proclaimed Hot Spitta as we pull up. Curren$y is waiting outside, with his trademark white socks and black-and-white Adidas striped flip-flops on—he immediately offers both beverages and weed. Although we don’t really give a firm answer, Spitta goes inside and comes back out shortly after with an actual see-through garbage bag of marijuana, a grinder, papers, and cans of Coke. I say I won’t be smoking at this exact moment in time, but he encourages me to roll and save it for later. As we see over the weekend, this is a sign of his character; Spitta is nothing if not a nice person. So I oblige, rolling a joint to smoke at a later juncture.

The semi-circle in front of Curren$y’s home is currently lined with vehicles, which include a matte blue Bentley and matte forest green Ferrari, and the drive-way is completely full: there’s a bright green, shimmering low-rider Impala, and a royal blue one as well, a few older vehicles that look like they haven’t really been taken out in a minute, for a total of ten cars. In the Ferrari-themed garage complete with red leather seating, choice Ferrari reading materials, and a light blue paint job, there’s only one car: Spitta’s rarely-used 360 Modena. Despite it probably being the most expensive vehicle in Curren$y’s roster, it seems to be his least favorite.

We’ve arrived just as Spitta plans to wash what may be his ‘baby’ of the batch, the green Impala. He washes it every time before he takes it out— and this isn’t a quick rinse, but a deliberate, slow washing, ensuring he gets all the crevices including under the wheels.

If there is only one thing you know about Curren$y— besides for him not being a gangster— it probably has to do with one of his three obsessions: weed, dogs, and cars. His Instagram page is basically a shrine to those three things and as that “super rare” YouTube video showed, this has been Spitta since day one. It has trickled over into everything he does, from the music he listens too, the music he makes, his lyrics, his day-to-day life, his label. It seems addictive, so I ask him and he agrees. “Yeah for sure. That’s why I draw the line at my recreation, cause if I even find out about something else…If I’m walking around with pounds now, it will probably be whatever it is of THAT, whatever that next shit is, so I don’t want none of that.”

This actually leads to an amazing anecdote about the first time he smoked a cigarette: “In the eighth grade, these chicks gave me one [cigarette], and I fucking coughed so hard, that when we got back to class, I told the teacher to let me out to go to the nurse, and I didn’t wanna tell her I smoked a cigarette, but see, my back was hurting. I coughed so hard I pulled something in my back, but in my mind it was the start of lung cancer. So I was like, I gotta get out class right now, I ruined my life. So I was like, ‘yo, my back hurts, a truck backfired out by the basketball court, and it enveloped me, and I breathed it all in and now..’And they’re like, ‘what?! We calling your mom.’ So my mom came to get me, and she brought me to the hospital, with the same story. The doctor’s like, ‘well, there’s some back trauma, he did do something, but I dunno if all of that is what happened.’ Then when we got home, this is the rest of it, there’s a commercial, an anti-drug commercial, and it was this guy who would turn into a fucking snake. It was a dude with a flat top, you can find it on YouTube, don’t fucking put it up in this ‘cause I don’t wanna see it. Watch it on your own, this shit’s terrible, they don’t need to see it. So there’s a fucking dude, he’s walking and tell you how cool drugs are, and how awesome they are, it makes you steal from your parents, and all this shit. He’s talking right, he’s walking, and the whole time he’s in the shadows his head is changing shapes, and when he comes back to the light he’s a fucking snake. So it scared the shit out of me, I got up and went into my mom’s room where she was sewing, and I’m like, ‘yo, I totally lied, I smoked a cigarette and that’s what happened. I’m sorry I shoulda just stayed in class and I’ll never do drugs.’ The cigarette wasn’t even drugs, but the shit scared me so hard, I was like don’t even think it’ll go further than this.”

After the car wash session we go inside and are quickly offered Wendy’s, which his girl is going to scoop up. She wants to use the Bentley, however Curren$y is reluctant to simply hand over the keys— instead he says he doesn’t have them/know where they are, but she manages to find them. After Curren$y grabs a shower we get to see two more of his collections: his dogs and his miniature cars. The cars (which are seriously scattered all over the house, on various tables and coffee tables) are coated with a light layer of dust, and an industrial mop occupies space in Curren$y’s open and large- windowed living room. Before inviting us inside, he warned us his house was “lived in.” The dogs, as he tells us now, have chewed up the edges of his walls, leaving brown bite marks where there was once white paint. I look up at the extremely high ceiling and there is a chandelier with cobwebs. It is far from pristine, but this is just who Curren$y is, he’s a regular ass guy. His life is lived-in.

“I had a dog when I had a shitty apartment. I had a fucking Pitbull that grew to 130 pounds. And I told him when I first got him ‘bruh, Ima figure this out.’”

Curren$y’s had a love of animals since he was young. He grew up with a miniature Colli named Jeffrey. Since his rapping career has afforded him the opportunity to grow his various addictions collections, dogs have taken over his home. There are four English bulldogs inside, while outside are the (meaner) Pitbulls, including one who is pregnant. “I had a dog when I had a shitty apartment. I had a fucking Pitbull that grew to 130 pounds. And I told him when I first got him, he lives at his mom’s house now, ‘bruh, Ima figure this out,’” Spitta says. He definitely figured shit out.

He grew his love of Pitbulls with the assistance of a friend who also bred them. “My one homie was breeding Pitbulls and I had two other big homies that was doing other stuff with Pitbulls, and I used to go over and tend to the yard and help with the puppies and shit. One of them, I kinda fell in love with and he let me have it, and I brought that home and my mom figured it was alright so she let me keep it. After that, I went dog crazy, once she let me have that one dog. I put up a fence at the house, they didn’t have a fence, I put a fence up and then after that I was like, ‘well I’m kinda the man in here now.’ So I just went dog nuts, and she never cared.”

His mom is an important person in his life, and her approval, while not absolutely necessary, will definitely sway him one way or the other. Despite all the violence she saw during the early 2000s, a time in which Curren$y says “everybody was rapping and killing,” she still supported her son 100% and believed in his career, even if his father was a bit weary. “When I left Cash Money, everybody thought everything ‘bout to go to shit. I was honest about it. I was like, ‘well, fuck, I’m about to be broke, shit’s gunna get all fucked up.’ My mom was like, ‘do what you gotta do.’ My dad was panicking, he’s like, ‘you gotta go get a job or what you gunna do?’ My mom was like, ‘he can’t get a job, if he get a job, nobody out here is gunna fucking wanna hear what he’s talking about if he fucking works.’ So my mom was like, ‘just chill.’ I had a fucking Dodge Viper truck at the time, and I didn’t buy it flat out, I was paying a note on it. So my mom was like, ‘you can’t get a none of this shit repo’d, you gotta keep all your shit, so fucking fix your Lowrider, I’ma pay the note on the truck, and everything will be straight.’ So every time she thought something was fucked up she just hit me— that’s why my mama get whatever.”

After a bit of playtime with his furry friends, and a photo shoot for us, Curren$y is on his way to the shop where he spends most of his time, Street Customs. He co-owns Street Customs with Mousa, and it’s a relatively short distance from his home, on the Chef Menteur Highway. It’s not a flashy location, and the shop is pretty small— they haven’t moved since they were established in 1998. We follow behind Curren$y’s green Impala as he pulls a few stunts along the way, using his hydraulics and driving on three-wheels. That’s actually why he’s going to the shop in the first place, he messed up one of his wheels doing the same trick a day or two earlier.

Street Customs is basically Curren$y’s 9-5, although it’s not just Monday through Friday, because it seems like pretty much any day of the week, chances are you’ll find him laying around Street Customs, offering up advice on any Lowrider in the shop, sprawling on the extremely worn-in leather couches in the junk-filled waiting room, or perhaps rolling a joint in the back of the shop. He doesn’t seem to manage anyone directly, but it’s obvious his presence is important to the well-being of the shop— something which he iterates during the annual Fourth of July BBQ held at Street Customs. We want to get some alone time with Curren$y, but he can’t leave the BBQ for too long otherwise it may just die down. He’s a driving force for the shop, and definitely a benefit for their economy and growth.

Although he’s not really a big guy and he doesn’t bring a massive posse wherever he goes; Curren$y is unquestionably a leader. People, (including Street Customs) rely on him, and he doesn’t mind. He does his best to ensure these people are well taken care of, and it’s something which has been on his mind since he was young, even fueling his decision to leave Cash Money. “Just the fact that I got a lot of partners, I got a lot of shit I gotta do for people, that I couldn’t play the role, I couldn’t do all of that and play the role that I was in, in there,” Curren$y says of why he left the roster. “Cause yeah, as an artist, in a minute I would be able to make some moves for my homies to do music and I could impact the shop with Mousa and do all this shit, once I garner enough attention over here, but I don’t have time. So I just figured I could go in a different route, underground, but just claim so much of it, it’ll be like I’m mainstream, and that’s what panned out.” That’s actually exactly what he did— Spitta is still in that underground arena, with a cult-like following, but in no way could we really call him a mainstream rapper. How did he pull this off? Although you won’t find Curren$y in the trap, he provides a great drug-dealing analogy for how he views his music. These business lessons were apparently passed on from Master P/Lil Wayne, but I get the feeling it’s also an effect of being a smart observer, being inside such serious situations and learning from them, adapting them. “You could actually make all the bricks yourself,” Spitta says of the music business. “Because it’s music. The crazy thing about the drug game, is, we can’t make bricks of cocaine, we can’t do it, we gotta go and get that shit from somebody— so you gotta take money to make money. This shit is outta here [points to his head], so make as many fucking bricks as you want. When do you wanna go to sleep? Make as many as you want, and fucking do what you gotta do with them. So it’s crazy. That’s why I make so many tapes, cause fuck it. You can do that shit when you want to, and it’s gunna run, it’s gunna grow legs, and if you put it out free, enough people dig the shit, you getting booked for shows, and you fucking charge ‘em for a brick! Not to make it so drugs-y, I’m not Scarface,” he adds.

"So I just figured I could go in a different route, underground, but just claim so much of it, it’ll be like I’m mainstream, and that’s what panned out."

He may not be Scarface, but he definitely relays enough rhymes about his drug of choice: marijuana. Surprisingly, he wasn’t out here smoking since he was thirteen (although he first hit a blunt in eighth grade, but only because if he didn’t he “might have been the feds,” and the one hit didn’t get him high). His love affair with Mary Jane only began in College, through a girl he was seeing at the time. “After that [time in eighth grade], in college, my girlfriend, she was a notorious pothead, this girl I was fucking with,” Curren$y says. “I used to be a fucking total buzzkill to her, like, ‘dawg, you gon’ smoke another blunt? Can we go eat, are you high enough?’ So one day she was like, ‘bruh, please, just hit it, just hit the weed.’ So I’m smoking with her and we watching Chris Rock, I don’t remember the name of the stand-up it was. But I thought we were watching Martin Lawrence “You So Crazy”— I saw Martin Lawrence and heard Martin Lawrence, in my mind I just knew that’s what this was. I was like, ‘this is it, I need to stay just like that.’ That was it.”

Of course, it’s not that simple for everyone with a weed habit— it’s known to make you lazy, unmotivated, probably gluttonous for snacks (Spitta often requests snacks be brought to his live shows, from Starbusts to Gushers). Nonetheless, the weed connoisseur affirms “some of the good things that weed can do” when I ask. “Look at all of this shit. Weed did it,” he says, pointing to the array of cars, the general scene at Street Customs, where we’re conducting the interview. “See, if I woulda gave into the situation. Like, ‘I’m here, let me do this kind of stuff,’ then I would have never known who I was and I would just be making music—‘this beat sounds like a war song, I’m gunna write that, this sounds like a song about bitches, I’m gunna write that.’ And I would never have done anything. But— the weed was like, ‘nah dude, here you go. I’m so tight that you’re just gunna wanna talk about me and whatever you do after me.’ And poof, it worked. It’s tight. Weed did it. That’s why I said that like, I AM some of the good things.”

Curren$y hosts a weekly “Jet Lounge” at the New Orleans club, House of Blues, in the French Quarters, and it’s a weed smoker’s dream. As Mousa ushers us inside the club that evening, for a pre-Fourth of July celebration, he says that this is the only place where one can freely smoke inside in NOLA— obviously it’s not exactly legal, but no one fucks with them. As we enter I see little clouds of smoke float up in the air, separated by the various patches of people. As the night wears on, especially after Spitta’s arrival around 1 AM, both the clouds of smoke and the crowd become thicker. Always a considerate the host, Curren$y makes the rounds and socializes with just about any and everyone. When he greets us, one of his first questions is if we have enough kush. I mention I’m saving that one joint I rolled for later, and, almost appalled, Curren$y scolds me for not rolling more. He shakes his head, telling me he has no idea where he even left that bag of weed, he thinks someone else took it, but it was close to two ounces. That’s how much weed he has at his disposal and how generous he is with it; he’s generous with all things though, not just weed. He shares what he’s smoking on before continuing on with his social obligations.

The next day, we plan to meet up with Curren$y for their annual Fourth of July BBQ hosted at Street Customs shop. After waiting a few hours for Spitta, my stress levels begin to show, but Mousa, with his laid-back mannerisms and Southern drawl, tells me not to worry. This is the attitude that is prevalent in both Mousa and Spitta— they live an easygoing lifestyle, helped along by the weed and the slow-moving South. Time moves slower here.

Although the BBQ had been called for 3 PM, by the time it’s 3:30 PM only a fridge and a grill have arrived. There are a few scattered people around the shop, but, it’s mostly empty. Around 5 PM, the charcoal grill is lit and the speakers are brought outside. The DJ begins blasting some Southern favorites like Big K.R.I.T. and UGK, appropriate trunk-rattling music to kick off with. When Curren$y arrives, he also tells me not to stress, he tells me everything we want to happen will happen— it’ll just be on the New Orleans time, which basically means there will be no schedule at all. After knocking out a video piece with us in the merchandise room of Street Customs’ shop, he rolls me a joint and demands I smoke it as soon as I exit the shop. I oblige. Curren$y is likeable in this way; he’s a jokester and he’s good-natured both on and off the camera. His personality, as he tells us, is “on” all the time— he doesn’t need to turn it “on” for the cameras, unlike some “gangster” rappers. He doesn’t need any direction for the photo shoot either— he just is who he is.

Curren$y has got to be one of the most consistent rappers in the game. I don’t just mean, he’s consistently dropping shit. He is doing that, obviously, with the 2009 collaborative album with Wiz Khalifa arriving shortly, as well as a Sledgren-produced project titled Revolver, another project he’s been teasing lately called Canal St Confidential, among others. Just last week he delivered a free EP, in fact, titled Cathedral. I mean the fact that his style, his sound, his story— they all remain consistent. Unlike his frequent collaborator Wiz Khalifa, whose grand evolution we have witnessed before our eyes, you’ll never see Curren$y step out and attempt the trap trend, or put on a pair of rock’n’roll –tight pants. What does he think of his constantly-changing rockstar friend, Wiz? “He’s a planet. That dude’s a planet, and that’s all he ever fucking wanted to be,” Curren$y says. “All I ever wanted to be was fucking the Lowrider champion of the world, so we both nailed it.”

Even if Wiz’s appearance changes, or if he experiments with various styles (not to mention DJing), Spitta isn’t worried: “Soon as I fucking roll up, I know who it is. I know. It don’t matter if he fucking look like captain Jack Sparrow when I get there, I know who’s in there. So it’s all good, and the music come out how it come out. Fucking Big Boi and Andre,that shit didn’t…Three Stacks was coming out with shoulder pads and shit on, and that shit was still the same. That’s still my brother. And he got two Lowriders at the house.”

I have to throw a question or two his way about his collaboration with Wiz, the aforementioned 2009. “We did half of it together, and the other half, we were laying it down [from a distance], and we were both like I would rather just…fuck that shit, I don’t wanna do it like that. He was sending me verses, I was sending him verses, we could do it that but we’d rather just wait.” Don’t fret, because they still have an ample amount of material to release it, “We got enough to where we could put it out— I could put it out tonight and he’d have to just be like, ‘ah man.’ But I think we should wait until August because that’s when How Fly came out.”

On our third and final day in the heat that is New Orleans (and Curren$y assures me it’ll just get hotter as the summer months wear on), I finally have my one-on-one time with Spitta. It was originally planned for day one, but things followed the New Orleans time schedule, not my meticulously-planned itinerary. We meet up at the shop, where Curren$y is in the midst of rolling himself a j. We meet up with Curren$y by himself, and although he definitely has friends who drop in, there is no lurking manager, no 10-man entourage. Nonetheless, don’t be mistaken, people seem to gravitate towards Curren$y both at the shop and elsewhere in NOLA, even though he is neither the loudest nor the most opulent person in the room. He reflects an aspect of realness sometimes lost in hip-hop, not the over-the-top “look-at-me” lifestyle that flashier rappers are selling. Perhaps because Spitta never had grandiose dreams, he had realistic, everyman desires.

“A yard for my dog, a crib for my main bitch,” he rapped on “Hold On,” a line that has always stuck with me. I ask Curren$y what’s next, then? He’s got the yard, he’s got the crib. He says, “Yeah it’s fucking nuts, done, done. So I dunno, now it’s, fucking, a house that we’re getting that’s in my neighborhood so that I could put all my cars inside of it. There’s a ruined house in my neighborhood, we buying it, to fix it. It’s gon’ look like a regular house on the outside, but once the garage door open up, you just ride into the house, cause it’s not [a] house, we just gon’ lay concrete down. So that’s what next, a house for my cars. That’s not some shit I expected, because I really, I drew all the cars I wanted…All the cars I wanted was on the Pilot Talk cover. I got all that shit a minute ago.” He continues, making sure we’re aware that the extra shit, the glossy shit, that wasn’t in the “plans,” that wasn’t a part of his childhood fantasy.

As I ask my final question, Spitta hands me the joint he’s been toking. I inhale a puff or two and quickly return it, but Curren$y shakes his head and insists I take more. That’s just the kind of guy he is.

Text
CLOSE
HOOTnani (IV)
top comment
HOOTnani (IV)
Aug 10, 2015

i love when you all come out and do a Design like this......... lets get DRAKE up next please! thank you

 
Reply Share
Joefaulk
Joefaulk
May 9, 2017

Them green car shots were perfect

 
Reply Share
2BlackRari's
2BlackRari's
Jan 25, 2017

I'm extra late but very nice

 
Reply Share
MeMyselfSoFly
MeMyselfSoFly
Aug 14, 2015

amazing work, incredible profile to one of the realest in the game. Jets... Fool

 
Reply Share
Coon Of The Galaxy
Coon Of The Galaxy
Aug 13, 2015

Shit is too legit do the whole louisiana like boosie scotty, ash grey, or webbie.

 
Reply Share
Chief Keef Has ADHD

i made it to the bottom

 
Reply Share
SKEPTAGOTthatSACK
SKEPTAGOTthatSACK
Aug 11, 2015

what artists have they done?

 
Reply Share
HoldTheL
HoldTheL
Aug 10, 2015

even you 40 year old virgin trolls, got to love this article

 
Reply Share
Link
Link
Aug 10, 2015

HNHH can take this W for this shit. Yall need to keep this going

 
Reply Share
Omar Harry
Omar Harry
Aug 10, 2015

this shit is sick!

 
Reply Share
Jay
Jay
Aug 10, 2015

Dope read. Thanks Spit Visc

 
Reply Share
drozay3500
drozay3500
Aug 10, 2015

great web design. as far as spitta go he's always been fire while staying cool as ice. also that impala was trill

 
Reply Share
Mr. Tintin
Mr. Tintin
Aug 10, 2015

nice spread and article it looks great, garage door was sick at the top of the page

 
Reply Share
HOOTnani (IV)
HOOTnani (IV)
Aug 10, 2015

i love when you all come out and do a Design like this......... lets get DRAKE up next please! thank you

 
Reply Share
superlit809

fuck drake

 
Reply Share
Top Dawg
Top Dawg
Aug 10, 2015

Mad love for rose lilah. Well written though. Spitta one of the realest tho

 
Reply Share
JVega
JVega
Aug 10, 2015

Dope Article style and Spitta is one of the Best

 
Reply Share
50's animal ambition

thats some dope shit mayne...

 
Reply Share