Posted on December 31, 2016
Andretti 12/30 and The Year Of Spitta
There’s a new Brian Eno record rather ceremoniously lined up for release tomorrow but fuck all of that and let’s talk about today. Let’s talk about today and 2016, which by any measure, has been The Year Of Spitta.
Curren$y (known to his fans as Spitta) is no normal rapper. There’s no point even drawing comparisons here because unlike 90% of the rap world that’ll put out an album every couple of years and spend most of their time beefing with celebrities or hanging with politicians or doing whatever else that’ll help mainstream sales, Spitta is both proficient and prolific. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, they leave words like that only for the absolute greats. To me, he’s rap’s Allen Toussaint. Kind of an often-imitated-never-duplicated figure you don’t really hear much about unless you’re really clued into the word on the street; a mythical figure of sorts. But he’s right there, sat in the bar, polished and ready to step up on stage to bring order and balance and a certain level of unmatched professionalism to the whole scene that keeps you going back for more each week, each month, each year. Like the late Allen Toussaint, when his day finally comes to a close, Spitta’s name will ring proud around New Orleans, right from Weezy’s neighborhood in the 17th ward through Canal Street, over the bridge and back again. The second line will be thick with NOLA’s finest and rap’s other greats who no doubt will have basked healthily in Spitta’s glory.
I remember sitting in my friend Ben’s apartment in Olympia, the air thick with sweet, sweet smoke, thinking that 2010 was THE year for Spitta. That year, Pilot Talk and its second instalment Pilot Talk II had arrived within months of each other and you kinda just knew this was something special. It was all tactile, intelligent, evocative rhyming that fucking coursed through your veins as you listened. The Ski Beatz production on both albums was raw but refined, something organically beautiful and I believe quite hard to recreate today. With the big speakers, party supplies and the right company, it almost felt like you were in the studio as some of this was being created – hip-hop made for your moment, capturing your feelings in your surroundings, which back then, I remember quite lucidly, was this sort-of manky old walk-up east of downtown that Ben was sharing with a hippie who happened to be into a lot of the same music. From that life, a life that tended to get rough quite easy, Spitta’s music was a welcome escape. But it was equally, and quite crucially, a reminder that it wasn’t so bad after all. That without somebody having to come out and explicitly make a chorus of it, we were gonna be alright.
I suppose it was also rap music for the weed connoisseur, but saying that is doing it disservice. I haven’t smoked the herb in a long time and all of Spitta’s music is just as effective. In fact his 2016 output has endeared me to his older stuff even more. That said, I’m one of those Spitta fans who drops everything to listen once something’s out, so, admittedly, his music plays right into my worst tenets of addict behaviour. What can I say? This hip-hop shit is hard to quit.
Spitta’s been putting out “audio dope” via mixtapes and albums so often in the last decade, it’s fairly easy to lose count. I know I’ve lost track of a number of his releases over the years. Though in that time, he’s become a go-to for me, just somebody I can rely on when I’m in pretty much any listening mood. And really, what more, as a fan, could I ask of somebody’s music? What more could I ask of hip-hop?
If you don’t have any idea of what I’m talking about, you can start with the two Pilot Talk records and move on upwards to last year’s Canal Street Confidential. If you want something “fresh-sounding” (don’t worry it’s all fucking fresh), start today with the free mixtapes and move backwards.
Today, and Andretti 12/30 marks Curren$y’s twelveth release of the year and the third in his Andretti series of mixtapes. Yes that’s a dozen releases in one year alone, none of them you could call watered-down. I’ve listened to 12/30. Twice since it dropped around 8 or 9 hours ago. And it’s easily among Spitta’s finest work. To borrow rather shamelessly, Spitta didn’t just pull up, he landed.
Download Andretti 12/30 here. Bump it hard. Remember 2016 as The Year Of Spitta.