Flying High With Curren$y on the Pilot Talk Trilogy Tour


The modern age of music has brought along quite a few welcome advancements, such as virtual reality music videos and streaming services that grant you access to a world of musical possibilities for one low monthly price.

But the fight for subscribers has created a war over streaming rights fought with licenses and exclusive releases that sometimes leave fans in the dark. For example, I’ve written countless strongly worded letters to the offices of Spotify in an attempt to get three of my favorite projects finally added to the streaming platform. For the record, those three elusive projects were Future’s Purple Reign (and Monster for that matter, but mainly just for “Codeine Crazy”), Travis Scott’s Days Before Rodeo, and Curren$y’s iconic smoking album, Pilot Talk.

currensy-crowdIn mid-June, my wish finally came true for one of my white whale classics, as Spitta resolved his long-fought battle over the rights to his pivotal set of work and finally delivered on his promise to provide all three iterations of the series to fans, no matter their streaming orientation.

To honor the digital freedom of his most celebrated work, Curren$y announced the Pilot Talk Trilogy Tour, a cross-country trip that would allow fans new and old alike to experience these elite-level smoking soundtracks. From the flick of the Bic, I knew the Los Angeles date at The Novo would be a can’t miss show.

Luckily, I was able to cash in a favor with Spitta’s camp and sneak on stage with a couple cameramen in order to witness one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen in Los Angeles. The Louisiana-born wordsmith came on stage to deafening cheers as if it was a hometown show — and it might as well have been because there are likely few places Curren$y feels more comfortable than in California. Spitta ran through a laundry list of his biggest anthems beginning with fan favorite “Roasted,” telling his DJ to cut the backing beat for most of his final verse on nearly every song to make sure fans could hear these bars through the thick layer of smoke filling the room.

You can watch our recap of Spitta’s show at The Novo below, and secure tickets to see the Pilot Talk Trilogy Tour when the Jet Life fam pulls up to your city soon. Special thanks to Mousa, Curren$y, and the entire Jet Life Recordings team for having us out and blessing us with some of Spitta’s signature strain, Andretti OG. Huge shout-out to California Unified as well, who supplied the team with some next level OG Kush to set the tone for the evening.

The move to reissue the Pilot Talk Trilogy for his patiently waiting fan base further solidified Curren$y as the ultimate blue collar stoner’s stoner, a workaholic who smashes old played-out weed stigmas like a custom gas pedal on one of his restored lowriders.

The New Orleans-native has been grinding for over a decade, first making appearances as part of No Limit’s 504 Boyz and then as Lil Wayne’s new Young Money prodigy on mixtapes like Dedikation 2.

currensy-smokingAfter Master P and Lil Wayne convinced a younger and less experienced Spitta to rap about things that fit their tougher street motif but not necessarily his love for cars and weed, Pilot Talk represented Curren$y finding his wings so to speak.

Legendary producer Ski Beatz, whose resume includes timeless records like Jay-Z’s “Dead Presidents,” lends his superior sampling and instrumentals to the entire project, while special guests like Smoke DZA, the artist formerly known as Mos Def, Jay Electronica, Devin the Dude, and Snoop Dogg each make appearances in the smoke circle.

I asked frequent Spitta-collaborator Forty FPS aka CJ Wallis, who has directed nearly 30 music videos for Curren$y over the last five years, about his colleague’s tireless work ethic and what Pilot Talk meant to him.

When I asked about how smoking weed affected Spitta’s drive, Wallis told me, “Weed reveals to you who you truly are deep down as a person. Lazy people will allow themselves to be lazy and further the long-running stereotype associated with smoking. For a hyper-motivated person like Spitta — it’s nothing for him to write multiple tracks over the course of a day because every cone acts like a Mega Man energy tank and refreshes the work ethic as if he just walked into the studio fresh.”

On what Pilot Talk’s legacy was to him personally, Forty FPS said, “That album was major to me as a fan, to my career and — in hindsight — ended up totally altering my life. I heard “Elevator Musik” when it dropped and secretly wished I had gotten to do the video. The day Pilot Talk dropped, I saw it on Pitchfork as Best New Music, bought it, and listened to it every morning for the next year while I worked. A year or so later when Spitta reached out for a new filmmaker, I made sure to make myself unignorable.”

The extra-long hash-infused and kief-dusted joint that is Spitta’s discography only stayed lit from there, as he continued displaying other-worldly drive by dropping what seemed like a mixtape per month for damn near a decade. If consistency is a key, then Spitta has been pushing “Rhymes Like Weight.”

The Pilot Talk Trilogy cemented Spitta’s place on the “Mount Kushmore” of Weed Rap alongside the likes of Uncle Snoop, B-Real of Cypress Hill, and Wiz Khalifa with its throwback jazz-influenced scores and sharp lyricism disguised as one of the most unique, smoked-out flows in hip-hop history. Curren$y has an innate ability to go off-beat here and there to get his point across, only to pull it all back together brilliantly — instantly making you feel like an idiot for even questioning the pilot in the first place.


Keep it locked to Weedmaps for updates on Spitta’s upcoming new strain release, Jet Lag, and here’s an exclusive playlist featuring some of the Pilot Talk Trilogy’s choice cuts, as well as some other tracks that will smoke perfectly with that Andretti OG.

Footage Courtesy of Wesley Nguyen
Photos Courtesy of Cameron Look

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Used to write about music for XXL, Elevator, Complex, Genius, and a few other outlets. Follow @LongLiveTheDuke on Twitter if you'd like to read way fewer words by me.

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