February 11, 2013
The Curren$y Model (Forbes Article)
Warner Brothers’ decision to sign on New Orleans rapper, Curren$y, 2 years ago was a no brainer. He’s talented – his work speaks for itself — but he’s also already proven himself as a sure-fire underground success, both in terms output and credibility. Over the last ten years, Curren$y has amassed a large, fiercely loyal fan base that remains hungry for virtually every new material he puts out.
Although Curren$y, often called Spitta, is similar to most rappers (his rhymes speak mainly to his love of weed, clothing, cars and women), the authenticity of his music and his means of releasing it (keeping the public in mind, first) makes him a different breed of artist. Curren$y lets fans into his world, which in turn — has nurtured their unwavering loyalty. He was one of the first hip-hop artists to grab hold of everything the Internet had to offer musicians and distribute free music and visuals to the masses.
Long before it was commonplace, he released documentary-type lifestyle pieces on YouTube, depicting his day-to-day life, complimenting the subjects he rapped about. This model, relying heavily on candid content, was a major part of Spitta’s early success. A consistent saturation of web content, both visual and musical, built out his fan base allowing him to now consistently sells out shows, nation-wide and finally land him his major deal with Warner Bros Records in early 2011.
Trueness To His Brand
Although this guy is a tireless creator, you would never know it about him upon first meeting him. He’s just a cool guy; the type of person the whole crew wants to be around. He embodies an effortless youthful, non-chalance — something working-adults hope to hang on to and high school kids aspire to attain. His New Orleans accent permeates his every rhyme, embellishing the narrative of each song. His clever takes on stories and attention to detail, on even the most mundane parts of life, make his lyrical content one of a kind. This, coupled with his delivery makes for a distinguished style and feel all his own.
From day one Curren$y’s documentary-esque lifestyle pieces has established him as an artist that the public could easily access – and relate to. People could see what brand of sneakers he was buying, who he hung out with, watch him craft songs from scratch in the studio and collaborate with dozens of artists. These videos were made by nothing more than one of the guys in the crew following him around for the day and editing together the most memorable moments. With these pieces his fan base grew as did the trust between him and his fans.
Nowadays he often tweets and instagrams about his Hot Wheels. One might think that an adult taking pictures of mini race cars would be odd but it’s real – and people know it’s not contrived. But that youthful authenticity just affirms his style and, by being open and letting people into his world, everything he does continues to strengthen it.
Quantity of Quality Content
Whether it is visual or musical there is never a dull moment with Spitta as he keeps his body of work flowing on the web. His recently released video “Chandelier,” which I directed, embodies everything Spitta is about. Set in New Orleans, it brings to life a quintessential Curren$y romance story. This song is off of his debut studio album, The Stoned Immaculate, which he is still releasing video content for.
The debut comes amidst a wave of other music releases – including several mixtapes, most notably Cigarettes Boats; Priest Andretti; and Jet World Order 2, and a collaborative project with Wiz Khalifa (presently held up due to copyright issues). Depending on his mood he’ll also will even drop the occasional single, like his most recent, “Ex-Girls,” which he stirred up on his tour bus. And if that wasn’t enough – he’s also constantly collaborating with other artists, circulating their through online music forums all the while. And because, the blogs love him, everything he touches is instantaneously diffused within the rapidly growing set of hip-hop web communities.
On Super Bowl Sunday he released his latest project, New Jet City, another testament to the consistent quality of his music. Furthermore, it is loaded with big features including Rick Ross, Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa, which makes it very clear the level of respect even the largest figures in the industry have for Spitta.
Curren$y may never see the widespread commercial and radio success of some of hip-hop’s biggest names, but he stands as a role model for a new kind of self-made artist. He has stayed true to his self – and shared his journey, giving fans everything they could hope for and more. And as he begins to endorse some of his own artists, he’ll continue to take his fans along for the ride, in whatever new direction he heads.