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Covert Coup

Label: Jet Life Recordings/Warner Bros (free download!)
Release Date: April 20th, 2011
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed By: Neil Miller, Jr.

Hip-hop is finally going down a positive road.  With artists like Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, and Odd Future bringing more than lyrics about ‘bitches and ho’s,’ it seems as if a new era in hip-hop is beginning.  One of those artists, Curren$y, has the most potential to strike gold in his career thanks to his immediately recognizable flow and old school production.  With the last year being extremely prolific for the New Orleans native (he released Pilot Talk and Pilot Talk 2 in 2010 with a new record, Muscle Car Chronicles, due next month), he’s decided to grace us with an Alchemist produced album free of charge.

The most important thing about Curren$y – if you come away from this with only one piece of knowledge – is it should be known that the man has a massive sense of nostalgia when it comes to his take on hip-hop.  One dig into this new Covert Coup record and you’ll swear you’re listening to one of the many lush, smoke-tinged hip-hop records to come out of the earlier half of the 90s.  Covert Coup accomplishes more in 28 minutes here than a lot of artists do within a jam-packed 80 minute disc.  There are slabs of Snoop Dogg-ish funk (“The Type”), Roots style live instrumentation (“Life Instructions”), and even some soul backing that would make D’angelo jealous (“Ventilation”).  Somehow, it’s all presented in a manner that remains cohesive; the record reads like a documentary on the past 20 years of hip-hop and it’s all held together tightly through The Alchemist’s stellar production and Curren$y’s inimitable flow.

Although Covert Coup is being touted as an EP despite clocking in at 10 tracks, the ground covered by Curren$y in that time is something that must be heard to be believed.  Even the guest spots here (Freddie Gibbs, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and Smoke DZA all drop in) work perfectly with Curren$y’s smoked-out lyrical weavings.  At this point, my only question is – can he do no wrong?  His entire catalog, a lot of which has been released in the past two years, is damn near flawless and shows no sign that he’ll be slipping up anytime soon.  Luckily, we only have to wait until next month for the next chapter in his saga of masterpieces.  Even if Muscle Car Chronicles disappoints, we still have more than enough Curren$y output to lean on until the next month.

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