“You’ve got 7 minutes…or as long as it takes for Curren$y to walk to his car,” a manager says to me and another reporter as Curren$y’s entourage starts to emerge from his dressing room.
As I quickly begin to condense 30 minutes worth of interview questions into seven, a smiling Curren$y appears in the middle of his entourage, introduces himself, and we begin to walk.
A few hours before this, I was standing in the back of Philadelphia’s legendary Theater of Living Arts, experiencing my first-ever Curren$y concert. Although the emcee is not Philly born or bred, his Philly following is enormous, so it was only right that one of the city’s leading media brands, WhatScene, partnered up with clothing brand Doobi to bring him to the city of brotherly love.
Admittedly, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a fan of his prior to the show. I had originally gone to support opening acts: SincerelyTahj, Champs, and Philly phenom Theodore Grams, but by the end of the night I was driving home with an entirely new perspective.
As time got closer to the main event, the audience began chanting Curren$y’s name, they sparked up their blunts, and just as the venue began to turn into a relatively large hot box, out came the man of the hour. As soon as he set foot on the stage, I realized that Curren$y fans were not your average, everyday Hip Hop fans; these kids were die-hard. Not just because they literally showered him with blunts and joints like a straight-up king, but because these fans live and breathe Curren$y. Dude has a serious cult following.
“I don’t know what they even fuck with me for,” the New Orleans born rapper half-laughs as we head outside onto a side-street less than a block from where his car is parked. “There is a lot of good music in the world.”
That may be true, but not a lot of artists can make an entire venue full of fans chant the lyrics to every single one of their songs word-for-word, and Curren$y shows appreciation for that. The Pilot Talk III emcee paid homage to his ride-or-die Philly fans by rocking a vintage Eagles Randall Cunningham jersey, giving a much more intimate touch to his performance.
While Curren$y has generally been branded a “weed-rapper,” he surprised me when he listed the artists and music groups that really cemented his love for Hip Hop.
“The first person that made me fall in love with Hip Hop was Slick Rick,” he reminisces. “I’m also [influenced] by Al Jarreau, The Stylistics, The Delfonics…”
Who would’ve thought a group that created the song “Betcha By Golly Wow” could inspire a man that made the song “Do it for a G?” Music is a mysterious and powerful thing, my friends.
Three minutes into the interview, we arrive at his car and are immediately mobbed by a group of fans asking for pictures and autographs, ending our short-lived conversation.
Although our chat wasn’t long, I left that conversation with a new perspective on an artist that I surely thought I had the 411 on. Sure, he does rap about the stereotypical weed, women, money and car stuff–and that’s cool–but he also honestly and truly fucks with his fans on another level than most artists do. When he performs, he gives you a personalized experience that you wouldn’t get from most of your favorite rappers, and these days, that’s rare.
At that, Curren$y thanks us for our time, snaps a few fan photos, signs some autographs, falls into a quick conversation with a fan about their shared love for “American Dad,” hops into his ride, and pulls off.
Photos taken by Mike Wash