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Curren$y talks Canal Street Confidential in new interview

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Curren$y Spitta’s star is rising fast. The New Orleans-based artist has dwelled in the underground of stoner rap for years, steadily gaining traction as his clever, THC-infused lyrics and free mixtapes continued to attract a loyal fan base. But after his single “Bottom of the Bottle” featuring Lil Wayne and August Alsina debuted in August, Curren$y quickly attracted radio attention and forged his first foray into the mainstream.

The song appears on his latest album, Canal Street Confidential, which came out Dec. 4, and the collection features a multitude of popular rappers — Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa and Future to name a few. Curren$y could rake in a considerable amount of sales revenue just by name dropping, but that’s not what inspired the choices. These are his friends, the people he surrounded himself with long before this particular album reached conception. He went to school with Lil Wayne. He and Khalifa go way back, and he’s now the godfather to Bash, Khalifa’s two-year-old son with Amber Rose.

While enjoying the wider audience garnered by “Bottom of the Bottle,” Curren$y is now put to task to assure his original fan base he’s not about to sell out. “I only brought what we’ve been doing for years to a bigger platform,” he says. “I just got more artillery now by making this move, that’s all. It’s just bigger beats. The mic might be a little bit clearer.”

Curren$y took a break from touring with Canal Street Confidential to talk to EW about the new album, staying true to his original style, and what’s next.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you know that that “Bottom of the Bottle” was going to be as big as it is?

Yeah. As soon as it bounced out… I knew the stuff that I relish about being an underground artist and not having to do too much and just chilling ­— I knew it was kind of all f–ked off. I knew that it would be running around to radio stations and doing and all this stuff would be happening because of that. I knew that it was going to change some things, and so I just was like, “Sh–.” I mean, not that I didn’t want to do it. Because, of course, it’s a wider audience, so you pick up more money. At the end of the day, it’s a bigger world. I’m happy. I can’t complain. I would be a fool to complain.

You released Canal Street Confidential on Friday, and then Monday you put out “Top Down,” which is a freestyle on top of Yo Gotti’s “Down in the DM”

I just want to do more mixtape freestyles and stuff, just to raise awareness of the album. I put out two before the album came out, and the response they got was so crazy that I was like, “Well sh–, I have to do a few more.” Because it’s like a free commercial. Once you just put that up online and people hear that, they’re like, “Well what else do you have?” And then they’re going to find the album.

“Down in the DM” is about hitting on people on the Internet, but “Top Down” clearly has a different message.

Well that’s the whole thing. I make sure that, if I do [a remix], not to just cookie-cut follow what the other artist did. I knew what it was about. I just was like, “Let me just say what I want to say.” It’s essentially about the same thing. The girls he was hooking up with via those… those things, there was all one goal involved. So I just told her, I don’t have a Snapchat. Just come on over. What’s the point of sending me that? If you want to come to the house, just come by.

You have a ton of features on this album.

Yeah, yeah I do. But it’s not really that major, because they’re genuinely my friends. Nobody’s on the album who I haven’t just kicked it with and not done music, like maybe just hung out and smoked joints and s–t like that prior to ever even thinking about collabing. What I can say for everybody on the album is that regardless of what situation they’re in, how much success they’ve got, they’re still themselves. That’s like if I talk about Wiz, okay, that’s my brother, but this guy’s like a f–king mega-planet. But he’s still the same. Other people just, you know, they don’t know. I always hear about like “new Wiz” and “old Wiz,” whatever the f–k that means. He’s still the same f–king person to me. You know what I’m saying? So anybody that’s on the album, they’ve maintained being true to themselves. That’s all I ever wanted to exude myself, to show people that you can get somewhere in this industry without playing those games. Do what you want to do, and eventually, as long as you stand strong to it, somebody will see your vision. It’s just a slow burn, but it works.

How’d you go about making all the collaborations happen?

I just call [Wiz Khalifa], like, “Yo, here’s one. F–king put some verses on that s—.” And the good thing about everybody, I didn’t have to wait long. You look at that list of people; you can imagine what those schedules are like. This is my first time making moves in the mainstream industry, so they’ve been with these itineraries and s–t to do, but when I send a beat or a text like, “Yo, I need you to get on something,” it’s nothing for them to just stop what’s poppin’ and handle that s–t for me.

You’re Wiz’s son’s godfather, correct? What are your godfatherly duties?

Yes. God forbid, if anything was to happen to my man, I would be the one I guess teaching Bash karate or whatever. As of right now, we don’t talk about too much. His interests are a bit different from mine. We talk about trucks. We’ve had conversations about trucks. We’ve had conversations about puppies. We can do that kind of thing. But I guess later on life, I’ll be there to kind of give him pointers if he’s having trouble with his girlfriend or something, or if he doesn’t know what to buy his dad for a birthday or Christmas or something. When I give gifts, I don’t really try to go ball out to show you that I care. I will get you something that you remember from when we were like nine years old. I’m going to be a groundbreaking godfather. I’m going to make history.

Is there anyone else that you really want to work with now?

Musically, DJ Quik. And I’d like to do a record with Slick Rick. Even if I just had Slick Rick in the video chillin’, that’d be cool. We’ve spoken of each other in interviews, but we never lined up. I gotta get a beat from Kanye at some point. Or a verse. Either/or with that guy. He’s super nice on either one.

What would you have to say to fans who are concerned that you’re going mainstream?

I’m assuming they got the album and they’ll see that’s not the case. That record is not even a mainstream record. It’s just, August Alsina is a star. Lil Wayne’s a star. With all of them on one song, “Bottom of the Bottle,” it just draws a lot of attention. But we’re all from the same city. Me and Wayne went to the same school. Me and August have been tight for a minute now. So that song could’ve happened anyway if none of us had made it anywhere, and it would’ve sounded just like that. It wasn’t a ploy to step into the mainstream. It was just a record that I did and when I brought it in to the office to play it, it f–king broke necks.

Can you tell me a little bit about any future projects?

I already have seven records towards a second Canal Street Confidential. I figured I was going to do it in a series the same way like I did Pilot Talk or the Saturday Night Car Tunes series. I’m going to do another one, and I already got records with Rick Ross and Jeremih and a few other people already done. So I’m probably going to be back in the office trying to see what’s the best date to [release another album]. I’m looking to put it out sometime around my birthday maybe — which is in April, so if you want to buy me something, my birthday’s April 4.

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