Review: Curren$y - Return To The Winner's Circle

Published at exclaim.ca

One of the hardest working rappers out, Curren$y dropped two studio albums in 2010 and released his latest mixtape, Return to the Winner’s Circle, on New Years Day to kick off 2011. The flux of activity is a testament to his drive; Curren$y’s been out since 2001 and it’s only now that he’s getting his due shine. Winner’s Circle is an expected release from Spitta: great beats (both original and borrowed), interesting rhymes and trenchant honesty. He goes in from the top: “Daze of Thunder” is a churning, down-home banger caught between melancholy and triumph ― appropriately, a Rick Ross beat ― with Spitta talking about the trappings of success. Pause: note the calibre of the beat selection, lyricism and vision (on a mixtape, no less). And move on. “Trophy Case” has Curren$y reminiscing about growing up, childhood dreams and realities, while “Record Deals” (a recycled Organized Noize beat) is a one-verse takedown of shady execs and expensive lawyers. The tape’s real highlight is a do-over of a Big K.R.I.T. song; “Moon & Stars Remix” is a g-funk/Dungeon Family gloom hybrid livened up with energetic raps from Spitta and his affiliates. (Independent)