Feb 22, 2016

#ICYMIMonday: Carrollton Heist - @CurrenSy_Spitta & @Alchemist; A Niles P. Joint

Curren$y is equal parts prolific and cool.  Over the years he’s had nearly fifty projects released, between solo albums, EPs, mixtapes, and collaborative projects.  And each one displays an unwavering confidence in each syllable he writes.  Carrollton Heist is his second collabo project with super producer The Alchemist, the first being the superb Covert Coup.  Five years later, they reconvened for another free EP/mixtape, this time with no warning.  While most fans would be happy with whatever these two put out, they managed to surpass the last joint with a project that’s even more cohesive and plays like a vintage Hollywood flick set in New Orleans.  Long story short: it’s cinematic in scope, despite still qualifying as an EP.

Cartridge feels like it’s tailor made for the opening titles of a movie.  Spitta has his usual understated bravado bars present, but the drum decrescendo Alchemist slides in is brilliant. The film noire vibe is heavy in Black Rally Stripes, especially in lines like “Man/ Bourbon St. secrets & avenue scams/ Shit get deeper/ The more you know, you prolly wish you didn’t know.”  This is a setup that pays off at the end of the next track Vibrations.  But first, we’re treated to an interpolation of the chorus of N.O. classic Ha.  With the help of a prominent saxophone, Curren$y puts his foot down lyrically.  It can’t be undersold: duke sounds like a rap Humphrey Bogart in his poise.  The final quarter of the track is a dialogue sample from an old-timey film that features dudes discussing a heist, hence the EP title.

The Alchemist has always had a heavy element of spookiness in his production, and Disappearing Ink featuring Styles P. is a prime example.  It’s dark without the cliché of feeling like a gritty reboot.  Inspiration has the electric piano wheezing along as Spitta shows you how he’s “cooler than a polar bear’s toenails.”  Action Bronson, also a frequent Alchemist collaborator, makes an appearance and spits some bars straight out of a classic mob flick.  The dialogue sampling  returns, but this time it’s at the beginning of 500 Pounds of Gas.  The sample talks about chemical warfare, the lyrics are more so about large quantities of herb.  Spitta will always find clever ways to talk about weed.  At the end the characters talk about dividing up money.  More clever wordplay is abound in The Mack Book, which goes with a more Blaxploitation-type route but nonetheless fits into the overall scheme.  

93 AMG is more grim & melancholy fare in its tone.  It only has one verse and serves as a set up to a discussion where the characters in the sample talk about doing a dry run of their heist.  The tone goes full New Orleans in the penultimate Fat Albert.  Curren$y opens the track, but Lil Wayne dominates the last two thirds of the track with uninterrupted rapping.  The veteran still has a little something in the tank.  Smoking in the Rain is the pensive conclusion as Curren$y waxes nostalgic about a woman while still maintaining a quiet tenacity.

The most incredible thing about this album is that it was created in a literal day.  The mastery of both rapper & producer on this project is apparent.  What’s also impressive is the fact that both dudes had enough clout to get three high-profile guest appearances despite it being created on short notice.  The greedy ass fan in me wishes that it was a little bit longer.  At under half an hour it falls into EP range, with three of the ten tracks being just over two minutes each.  But at the end of the day, it served its purpose and had more range and creativity than most other projects that may be longer in running time.  There’s no filler or wasted motion.  Carrollton Heist shows that when Curren$y and The Alchemist link up musically, it’s a championship combination every time.

Rating: 4.80 out of 5

Download Carrollton Heist via DatPiff here.

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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