Is it bad that I only really enjoy the Pilot Talk series because it means another mixtape of beats from Ski Beatz? It’s not that I’m not a fan of Curren$y, a.k.a. Shante Franklin (equally cool if not cooler named) rapper from New Orleans. It’s just that he doesn’t do Ski Beatz justice. The sound of Ski might arguably be the defining sound of Curren$y albums, but that just means that Curren$y isn’t the one pulling the weight of the Pilot Talk series. The highlight is Ski Beatz. And it’s just a weird thing to admit; that Curren$y’s Pilot Talk III is reminiscent of Bishop Nehru & MF Doom’s NehruvianDOOM, in that Bishop was the rapper being showcased, but all I really cared about was more MF Doom.
Here though, Curren$y is the bigger name, being shadowed by Ski Beatz’ production, while his “weed rap” flow styling’s continually catch him mumbling and pushing fame and celebrity that he really isn’t recognized for. Not that he’s ever done it any different though, don’t get me wrong, The Stoned Immaculate was a great album, props to Curren$y on that one, but he hasn’t been able to get back to that level ever since. Sure, I’m very big into production, and Curren$y isn’t the most prolific rapper of our generation, but with the end of March & April seeing so much new rap music come out, it’s hard to listen to this and say that Curren$y put out a good mixtape. Personally, I would love Ski Beatz to release an instrumental mixtape of the Pilot Talk series. Ski should be more highly recognized than he is: he did 4 tracks off Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, including “Dead Presidents,” In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, as well as work with Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Jay Electronica. I’d hate for Ski Beatz to stay in the dark again until a possible Pilot Talk IV comes out; he shouldn’t be stuck to one mixtape with Curren$y every now and then, he’s worthy of so much more.
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