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Curren$y Explains 10 of His Most Creative Album & Mixtape Covers


Even though the New York Giants got to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Super Bowl Sunday, Jets fans had cause for celebration as well (No, not those Jets...fool). Out of nowhere, one of hip-hop's biggest studio rats, Curren$y, treated fans to a 5-track EP entitled Here,, a spur-of-the-moment project brought on by a sleepless night and a Steven King flick. Per usual, Spitta came correct with the EP’s artwork, delivering a visual equal parts bad-ass and puzzling. Then, on Tuesday of this week, the oft-delayed Muscle Car Chronicles hit stores. Fascinating covers are nothing new for Spitta, so XXL decided to catch up with the Jet Life pilot and get the scoop not only on Here, but also on some of his other most creative aesthetic choices, from This Ain’t No Mixtape to Pilot Talk and plenty more. —Neil Martinez-Belkin (@Neil_MB)


currensy here

Honestly, I always look for pictures. When I see certain pictures, I know that they represent what I’m talking about. That stuff is what I mean and it’s what I stand for. You can just look at it and know I had something to do with it. That shit was just a good picture.

On this cover, he arrives! Yo, honestly, Jean Lephare from Monsta Beatz showed me that picture. We were on the tour bus. He was scrolling through some website and I saw that picture. This was months ago. I was like “What the fuck? What is that?” So I told him to send it to me. I forgot I even had it.

Once we recorded this joint I didn’t know what I was gonna do for the cover so I was thinking about some shit but then we fuckin’ remembered that picture. I didn’t know what to name it. At first I was gonna name it Short Notice, because it was last minute and I just gave it out like, “Uh, here.” So then we were like, “Actually…let’s just name it Here. ’Cause I don’t mean it like an arrival, like “Oh, I’m here.” I meant like I was giving it out to people like, “Here you go.”

But looking at the picture I was like we could use this picture ’cause that dude is here. Like he fuckin’ landed, he’s here. And for the back, I just fucking put “1975 airport” in Google and just looked at a gang of pictures till I found the one that I wanted. That’s what I do.

Verde Terrace

currensy verde terrace

Cartola?! People don’t know. A lot of people don’t know what that is. Like, “Oh, it’s just a cool dude.” And people who know who he is, definitely don’t think I know who he is. I read these tweets… I cant even understand them ’cause they’re not in English. But I see tweets sometimes and in my head I’m thinking, “I think those are angry tweets.” Portuguese tweets. I don’t know if they’re so pumped about it. I wonder if they’re pissed at me.

But yo, he’s drinking out of that fucking green cup. What do you want me to do? It’s a fucking awesome picture. I Googled the word Verde. Everything that’s green showed up. I got awesome pictures of Lamborghinis and shit I was gonna use, but that cup?!? I was like “Yo, that is the best shit ever.” Then one of the cars that did show up was a Ferrari and I love those, so I had it photoshopped into his shades.

I didn’t have a back cover for that one because fucking broke my foot. I picked the first cover when I was flying out to L.A. to do the show and I was gonna Google some more shit to find a back cover when I got back to hotel, but I went to the emergency room instead.

Pilot Talk

currensy pilot talk

That’s both New Orleans and New York. ’Cause that was when my life was really New Orleans in the morning, New York in the evening. I was back and forth every three days and shit. The homie Dave Barnett did this and Pilot Talk II. 3rd ID did This Ain’t No Mixtape, How Fly, and Jet Files. Whatever I say, they’re good at delivering exactly what I’m talking about. Rright out of my mind to the paper. It’s fucking nuts. You don’t have to send it back like, “Oh, I meant something different.” It’s damn near like I’m fucking printing this shit out my brain cause of how on point they are.

Weekend At Burnie's

currensy weekend at burnies

Fucking Ferrari GTS 308. That’s a fucking awesome car. I would’ve used a real one, but for albums that are retail I’m always scared that I’m gonna get sued so I just have it drawn. So I was like, let me get that Ferrari and the shit that I need. Some Cheetos, rolling papers—basic shit. The basic tools to my survival and a good weekend. The color scheme let’s you know you definitely went out of town.

I was going for and ’80s feel. Like I was going to The Babylon. I think that was a dope club that Scarface hung out at everyday. That’s why Frank Lopez wanted to go there every night. His bitch didn’t dig that, but the fucking place was dope. I think I would’ve been in the same club, too. Like, there’s no place like The Babylon. If we’re gonna fucking go out, let’s fucking go out! I don’t give a fuck, let’s fucking go again.

Super Tecmo Bowl

currensy tecmo super bowl

Tecmo Super Bowl was the most untouchable game that ever happened. I remember what it did to my life. I remember what it did to the street that I lived on. I was a cockier person at this time and that’s what I felt like that tape was. Like, Yo, this is the most unfuckwitable collection of instrumentals. This is the shit. I felt like Tecmo Super Bowl was life changing in the way that this mixtape would be.

This Ain't No Mixtape

currensy this aint no mixtape

I did that for my city. That was my first national release. It was digital, but it was my first retail national thing. So I had to show as much love for home as I could on it. I liked the way they made the towns look in Grand Theft Auto back on Playstation 2. Like on San Andreas, so that was what made me do it. I used to play San Andreas, but not for the missions or even to run around and do rampages. I used to just go in and drive around. I would try to take care of my low rider that I had. Try not to bump into shit and if I did, I would hit the Pay ’N’ Spray and get it right. I was living that shit like a life. I would fucking play it like Sims. So I wanted my cover to represent that, and the shit came out dope.

"The Hangover"

currensy the hangover

It’s an indoor pool. It’s like the Grotto man. It’s like the ’70s. I was thinking of a successful soul R&B star of the ’70s and that’s how he’d have his house. Those guys in the ’70s, if they were making the kind of bread that you can make in music now, like living in excess, this would be how it was. It would be me in there, sliding around in socks. Nobody would ever have to leave. I’d just let ’em pass out. It’d be good. I really wish I was around in that time. I watch movies, and I just know I would’ve been right in there hanging out. I just hope I would’ve survived. ’Cause it was going down.

It’s cool, though, ’cause I’m just recreating it all now. That’s my whole life. Everything I do is just based on the shit that I think was the shit. I’m stuck, man. I was too young to appreciate it. I saw dope stuff but I was a fucking baby so it didn’t count. So I’m living like that now.

Covert Coup

currensy covert coup

I chose Stalin because they were tearing it down. That cover represents what I meant. It was either that one or Sadaam. I had both of those covers, because it was what I meant by me coming to the mainstream, or what people see as mainstream. I had to show people that I wasn’t going to become a creampuff artist, the way that it happens when someone partners with a major label. I fucking came to destroy that notion. That was the establishment that’s been in place. I fucking seen it happen to others all the time. But I came to tear that shit under, and that’s what it was. That’s what I had pictured, like crumbled statues.

So that’s what I Googled. I Googled “Coup” and “Revolt” just to see what it would look like. There was one of like a gang of people pouring into the street after like a war ended, and I was gonna use that one, but the statue crumbling just said the most. Statues are so serious. They’re not going nowhere. But for people to pull that shit down is something crazy. It’s like your kicking a hole in the fucking building. You’ve seen that statue since you were a kid so you figured that shit was immovable. Then one day the whole town gets pissed and that shit’s on the ground, with kids sitting on it and drawing on it. That’s big.

Return to the Winner's Circle

currensy return to the winners circle

Like for Return to the Winner’s Circle I just typed in “Vintage, Race, Glory.” I put that in fucking Google just to see what the fuck pictures of that was. And it was that dude with that chick, and I just knew that was it. That’s what I mean.
I don’t know who the dude on the cover is, but he’s the man! He won. He definitely won. He won that. He’s fucking winnin’. I think this one is my favorite. It caught him right in the moment. He’s just like “Yes!” What else could he possibly want? It’s like he’s got the bitches, his hair is chillin’. Look, his hair is all swoopin’ and shit in the wind. The race suit was chillin’. He was the man.

And, yo, the fight on the back?! The fucking fight man! That’s what it is man. The blood, the sweat, and the tears. There’s the victory and then there’s the agony too. It’s not all glorious. It’s not all chicks and smiles. It’s a battle to get there.

Pilot Talk II

currensy pilot talk ii

That’s the Scarface house! That’s the inside of the house. Like on Pilot Talk, you know how on the back cover you see the house with the cars in the garage? The Pilot Talk II cover is the inside of that house. That’s my Scarface house. There’s grow rooms in there, there’s a spot for my Corvette so that I can drive inside. There’s a room full of sneakers. There’s a studio. There’s a disco. There’s a bar. There’s even one room where I’m growing these weed ladies. And the Jacuzzi overflowing with bud? Hey, what are you gonna do? You gotta put it somewhere right?