Quarantine Bops: Curren$y & Harry Fraud “The OutRunners”

New Orleans-based rapper Curren$y is one of my favorites. He’s not always the first name off my tongue when I’m listing them, but his thematic consistency (laid-back beats and rhymes, mostly about getting high and enjoying the spoils of a rich life) and his voluminous output (seemingly an album or mixtape every month or so for the last decade or so) coupled with a talent for lyrics that becomes clearer and clearer the more one listens to him and one of the better ears for beats in the game … he’s a five tool star, in baseball parlance. If you don’t LIKE the style he represents, that’s fair, but there’s no question he’s a master of it.

Speaking of voluminous output, though, he and Brooklyn-bred producer Harry Fraud (known for his work with Action Bronson, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and others, including earlier collaborations with Curren$y himself) just released a nine-track mixtape called “The OutRunners” (available for free download at Mixtape Monkey). The timing of the tape is interesting, because at least some of the tracks follow the normal Curren$y patter of weed, cars, cash, and chillin’ over slinky beats from Harry Fraud and could have been recorded any time. But other songs you can tell were recorded pretty recently because the lyrics reflect Curren$y’s more COVID-affected life.

Take for example the excellent “Gold & Chrome,” an homage to Curren$y’s young son, classic cars, and how the world has changed since quarantine:

NBA games being played in a biosphere

How the fuck did we get here? Everything weird

I’m sure change gon’ take some years

But I hope it all clear before my son hit the streets, trying to shift gears

Curren$y “Gold & Chrome”

And on “In the Coupe” featuring Jim Jones of Dipset, Curren$y touches on the struggle of trying to live a “normal” life in a time of police brutality, civil unrest, and global pandemic:

Police told us to keep our hands visible

Then they ask for ID, now tell me what should we do

Knowing you could get shot for making sudden moves

But don’t comply and you die is the golden rule

In the backyard smoking large sitting by the pool

Thinking ’bout my son man, I love that little dude

I wanna see him more, but there’s a civil war

And it’s risky to travel now, not too much back and forth

Make them land this motherfucker if somebody else coughed

In the first class cabin, let us the fuck off

Curren$y “In the Coupe”

In all, it’s nine more strong tracks from one of the strongest rappers currently working, adding to an already impressive discography.

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