Curren$y – Pilot Talk II | Album Review

Who would have thought that leaving behind the overly exposed Young Money camp would re-enhance the career of an artist? That has been the story of Curren$y, the New Orleans spitter who left Lil Wayne’s army in 2007 and found critical success over the last three years. The former XXL Freshmen dropped his surprisingly dope album Pilot Talk, earlier this year and returns with the sequel to that very same album. Under the guidance of Hip Hop sensei Ski Beatz, can the young grad of the 24 Hour Karate School top his earlier efforts or will it fall under a number of flawed sequels which have spawned in recent years?

The first track glides in smoothly with ‘Airborne Aquarium’, a brilliantly produced track on which which Curren$y’s southern drawl eases listeners into Pilot Talk II. A smoky, lounging atmosphere encapsulates the album; Ski Beatz’ score is hypnotic and soothing to the ear and is given an edge by the Spitta’s luxurious raps. ‘Michael Knight’ is a more darker, moodier offering yet its effect leaves an impact similar to the previous song.

Considering his former association with Young Money aswell and the stigma of being a ‘Southern rapper’, Pilot Talk II has a very soulful backbone. Hailing from New Orleans, the jazz influences are of no surprise – ‘Famous’ adds a delicious saxophone to its sound where Curren$y’s double time verse gives a bounce to the record and ‘Real Estates’ (featuring Dom Kennedy) is produced superbly with a wicked guitar playing gently to back it up.

Although production is ridiculously consistent – the possible negative standing on Pilot Talk II is depending on one’s ‘appreciation’ of Curren$y’s lyrics. Whilst performance wise, he gives credible appearances, a majority of his rhymes are somewhat basic when considering the magnitude of the beats on offer. Also, much like his previous album, choruses still sound patchy and are still lacking in something catchy. But that shouldn’t take anything away from the great works on offer here, as the partnership of Curren$y and Ski Beatz has proven to be a working formula.

A sequel which betters its previous works, Pilot Talk II is exceptional due to its slick production and solid performances from Curren$y, which is all delivered in just under 40 minutes. An album which would sound immense live, Curren$y offers a nostalgic ’90s Hip Hop sound, meshing flossed out raps with a sublime score from a true legend. Pilot Talk II joins a small group of albums released this year which encapsulate a previous sound of the genre; a trend which will resonate with a number of fans who are after the golden sounds of yesteryear.

Pilot Talk II is out now via Blu Roc Records/DD172/Def Jam. Available from iTunes and Amazon US / UK.