Getty Image/Paul Rosales
Everybody knows how much Currensy loves his cars, weed, and how much he loves to deliver good music to his legion of loyal fans. He’s managed to turn that love into his Jet Life brand, which keeps growing and growing since its birth in 2011.
As one of the more consistent rappers in the game, known for flooding the streets with fly tunes, what he’s built with Jet Life is a reflection of the many labels he’s had the opportunity to be part of with legends right out of his hometown of New Orleans, such as Lil Wayne’s Young Money label and Master P’s No Limit label under his brother C-Murder’s imprint.
From 2006’s “Where da Cash At” to the re-released collaborative mixtape Covert Coup with The Alchemist to 2021’s Welcome To Jet Life Recordings 2, which is a collection of songs by Jet Life Recordings artists which include Fendi P and T.Y., Currensy has proven to be as resilient as he is industrious. Over the phone, he took Uproxx on a cerebral journey of how his mind works and how he’s adapted to the ever-changing technology of the music industry.
What are you up to?
Watching some new cartoon I found on Amazon, but I think it’s just a pilot and I think that it’s called…it’s called The New VIPs and it’s not a full season, it’s just one episode. I think they’re trying to see what people think of it.
What do you think of it?
I think this is good. This sh*t is good. It’s just one episode. When we get done with this interview, I’m going to take the survey and I’m going to let them know that this is a f*cking good show and it should have went into production or whatever you call that. You should watch this when you get done.
What’s your favorite Adult Swim or just any cartoon show?
Home Movies. I don’t know if you remember that because it was four seasons. The voice from Bob’s Burgers and Archer, you know that guy? [Editor’s Note: It’s H. Jon Benjamin] He’s one of the voices on there. It’s a good f*cking show, man.
It’s so well written though. It’s like how The Office still works whenever you put it on.
Well, I guess if I ever need any TV recommendations, I’ll just hit you up.
Yeah, I’m the one.
Let’s talk Covert Coup. How long had you and Alchemist been talking about re-releasing it?
Oh man, you’re going to love this story. We didn’t know that it wasn’t on streaming sites. We didn’t even know. When we went to San Francisco recently for this Nautica and Diamond Supply photo shoot, we were like, “Damn, it’s been 10 years since Covert Coup came out.” And I was like, “Yeah, that’s crazy. We should probably jam it.” Then I was like, “Is it on iTunes?” He’s like, “I don’t know.” I was like, “F*ck, I don’t know either.” So I asked my manager and he checked, and he’s like, “No.” I was like, “Oh, what is it on, Tidal or something?” It wasn’t on anything. We missed 4/20. That would have been ideal because that would have been the exact 10 year anniversary, so we just put it out in May.
People were and still are reacting to it like it’s a new project. That’s a whole different generation of people. Some people outright did not know about it. Some motherf*ckers are jamming it like it just dropped.
A lot of artists are re-releasing projects that were on DatPiff. I look at DatPiff as a historical music archive. There are so many legendary debut mixtapes on DatPiff.
Yup. That was the avenue right there. To me, that was major distribution because it’s like, everybody go right here and anybody can get on it. They didn’t have they picks and choosers. The homies from down the street was like, “Yo, I’m uploading my tape to DatPiff tonight, bro.” It was giving everybody a shot and it still do. That’s why I always put sh*t out so much because it was just cool to go on different sites and sh*t and see and just download stuff.
It’s so dope to see a lot of those tapes on there like Wiz Khalifa and Meek Mill.
That was an opportunity for people. It was just real listeners and people who respected the game, and curators of the whole vibe of what we do. They were shining a light on artists who they felt like deserved one because, at that time, all we had was MTV jams. We wasn’t on that motherf*cker. If the people saying your sh*t is dope, then dope people will give it a chance. If it’s what it’s supposed to be, then they’ll share it with other people. That put a lot of us in position, and it weeded out a lot of the bull. A lot of sucker sh*t couldn’t really advance at that time.
What’s the biggest difference between releasing music back then to today as a label owner of Jet Life Recordings?
I’m more focusing on the rollout of the next few projects that we putting out from Jet Life because I’m putting out a Welcome To Jet Life Recordings Vol. 2 and the first one that I did, a lot of the solo songs was for me and then a few from the artist. This time, everybody is on every song. There’s different artists on every record. I’m on all of them, but people from the label are on all of them too. Now, it’s about a rollout. How you going to promote this music outside of just putting up clips of you rapping?
What I would do before is put out one record from the tape or a snippet on Instagram, 30 seconds, just bars from the record. Maybe seven records I would damn near play the whole record — just putting up clips to get motherf*ckers ready for it and then drop it.
Now, I roll it out more like the way they do movies, where it’s just sh*t around it as opposed to the actual dish. You’re not really giving them that much in the promo, you’re just promoting the idea of what’s going on instead of playing the records and giving away so much of the project before you drop it. The physical aspect of purchasing music being removed. Everybody’s just getting it right from the phone and so you don’t have the thrill of picking up the CD and having to take the shrink wrapping off, so we have to save as much of that as we can for them so that the music is fresh to them once they download the project.
If I put so much of it up the way I used to, when they download it, it’s like, “Oh, I heard this one. I know this one, I know this one.” F*ck that. So now it’s like, Nah, I’m not going to do it that way. I’m going to roll the project out like a movie and let you see the process of us working. Maybe what car I drove to the studio and what we wore, what we was drinking. But, you’re not going to hear this sh*t until the sh*t drop. Until you actually sitting in the theater to watch the movie.
Tell us more about the compilation tape.
Welcome To Jet Life Recordings Vol. 2. features the entire label and some affiliates like Jay Worthy and Scotty ATL. Outside of that, it’s everybody on my label and a lot of rising stars from my city out of New Orleans: A lot of the people who I know are about to pop anyway with or without me. These people are going to blow anyway. I had better had got in front of that sh*t and fcking helped to usher them into the industry if I wanted to stay alive.
I saw also you tried that Jay-Z weed. I don’t really see Jay-Z as a weed smoker, but curious to know how it was from someone like yourself.
Well, they had different strains, but they weren’t labeled how you would think. It wasn’t jars just saying, “Oh, this is OG Kush.” They were all numbered and named little slick sh*t like Heavy. With anything associated with Jay-Z, if it was something that he not really in the know of, he’s going to do the research and then put the best people on the team to make it happen. Clearly, he’s got some good growers because the bottles marked Heavy are f*cking heavy. Those were the ones to smoke when I was at that shoot.
I also saw that you got into NFT. I’m still a little lost on that, what exactly it is.
Well, you know what? It’s because you live in the physical world, as do I. But do you remember when Dwight was playing Second Life on The Office? Okay, now Dwight Schrute was playing Second Life so much so that his character on Second Life had started an account on Second Life himself and it was second Second Life. His video game character was playing a video game of himself in the video game.
There are people who live, heavily immerse themselves, in the cyber world and cyber real estate. All of this is real because they live in a digital space. When they hang out with their friends and people are in these avatars on these computers, they need worlds and sh*t to live in, and in those worlds, you’re going to need dwellings, cars.
I’m involved in some NFT low riders right now and car parks for these f*cking digital cars because people want to upgrade them. People sit in front of they computer and live like that more than they step outside of the house because it’s hot outside, people are shooting. They’ll just rather just sit there and do that. You going to need all that s*it, so you better figure out what you going to sell them. When we get off the line, you better figure it out. You better come up with something. They need some digital mirrors, haircare supplies… They got NFT shoes, all that. NFT weed, lighters… all of that sh*t is already in the market.
I haven’t seen a NFT fish tank yet, so I don’t know. Cook that one up.
I’m thinking about all the games I play. I buy stuff for Call Of Duty all the time.
Dude, you’re fu*king buying NFTs then because where can you use those guns? Can you protect your house with that sh*t that you bought? With your money that you’re working for? Alright, you bought a NFT.
Okay, so what made you decide to hop in on the wave?
Because that digital money transfer to real money. It’s the same reason I’m telling you if those people believe you sold them a fish tank, you need to make them a fish tank and sell them the fish and sh*t.
Welcome To Jet Life Recordings 2 is out now. Check it out above.