Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 5:53 pm
In music, success can come and go in the blink of an eye. Curren$y realizes this and is quick to capitalize on every endeavor. Wasting no time, The JETS Int’l member followed his July release, Pilot Talk, with a second installment a mere four months later. Pilot Talk II follows the same science as its predecessor, with a majority of its production handled by Ski Beatz & The Senseis and other tracks produced by Nesby Phips and Monsta Beatz (the exception being Duprey who was not featured on Pilot Talk). While remaining formulaic may hinder some artists, it proves beneficial for Curren$y who appears in his comfort zone.
Curren$y once again soars high above the beats as Pilot Talk II gets underway to a high-pitched synthesizer on “Airborne Aquarium.” Spitta is quick to show his wit amidst a slew of cold-blooded bravado intertwined with references to his car game (“emotional luggage, nothing of it, I don’t check bags/I just carry on, leave that bullsh*t in the past“). The Senseis come to the forefront on “Michael Knight” as Curren$y rocks over a rhythm provided by a uniquely eq’d guitar. Once again Spitta burns through the beat with smooth one-liners such as “I wasn’t born yesterday or later on that evening.“ The electric guitar stays on the horizon as Curren$y enters “Montreux.” Curren$y proceeds to ride the beat with a half-baked demeanor, staying steps ahead of most rappers of his caliber. Yet to falter, Spitta gives Ski Beatz & The Senseis a break and enlists Monsta Beatz for his first Pilot Talk II appearance. Monsta stays in line with Ski’s blueprint and provides a smooth jazz influenced instrumental for “Famous.” Despite running over three minutes, “Famous” flies by, quite possibly because of its structure which revolves around an extended opening verse from the New Orleans rapper. “Flight Briefing” contains a not-so-hidden message about twisting paper planes. The uplifting vibe is catered by Ski Beatz and features JETS members Young Roddy and Trademark Da Skydiver. The results are mostly favorable and are later revisited on the Nesby Phips produced “Hold On,” which also fares well.
Curren$y continues to entertain, reciting pages of the usual braggadocio, weed burning, and sports car-whipping music over the unfazed melodies of The Senseis on “A Gee.” “Real Estates” is an off-kilter funk cut featuring Dom Kennedy that isn’t the grandest spectacle on Pilot Talk II, but respectable nonetheless. “Silence” sounds more like a Ski Beatz effort than one from The Senseis, which doesn’t necessarily take away from Curren$y’s ability to carry the track. Again, this track feels a lot shorter than it actually is and despite a heartfelt chorus from McKenzie Eddy, there’s no real subject matter found within Spitta’s verse. Curren$y speaks a little too early, telling the crowd to “hold the applause” on “Fashionably Late.” This marks the return of Monsta Beatz who holds Spitta down with smooth piano melody paired with a set of Southern claps used as snares. Ski and The Senseis lace Curren$y with a triumphant set of horns for “Highed Up.” While consistent, Curren$y’s delivery demands a change especially when he undertakes lengthy verses on short songs. Fiend stops in for “O.G. (The Jam)” which is ultra chill and conveys the perfect vibe for Spitta to request, “girl, roll those joints bigger.“ Pilot Talk II makes its landing with Raekwon dropping in for a nice cameo on the remix of “Michael Knight.” While this could probably afford to be a bonus cut rather than an album feature, it does little to take away from the overall package of Pilot Talk II.
To say Pilot Talk II is better than the first installment is extremely difficult. The latter has been out for months and listeners have had time to digest every word and subtle nuance of its production. On the other hand, Pilot Talk II is slightly shorter and to a certain degree packs a more powerful punch. Regardless, both editions of Pilot Talk showcase Curren$y, Ski Beatz, and The Senseis as more than rap acts. While Spitta sometimes misses a step or two, Pilot Talk II is ahead of many rap releases because it doesn’t feel like a typical rap album. The combination of Curren$y and the big-band sound of Ski Beatz & The Senseis comes across as an uncontrived, smoked-out jam session. Thus, Pilot Talk II is another inspiring release from Curren$y and certainly a case in which the sequel is on point with the original.