Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa ensured their fans would have an extra reason to celebrate the 4/20 holiday this year by releasing Live in Concert, their first collaborative project since their 2009 cult classic How Fly. Originally planned as a free mixtape, the reunion saw its share of delays before arriving just over a week ago as a retail release. One of the most striking elements of Live in Concert is the incorporation of long, jazzy flute solos, courtesy of Bobby Humphrey’s 1975 album Fancy Dancer. In fact, these solos get almost as much time to shine as Wiz and Curren$y. So it was only right that we get Spitta on the line for an explanation of these amazing flutes and how Live in Concert saw the light of day.—Neil Martinez-Belkin (@Neil_MB)
So what’s going on with these flutes?
[Laughs] Let’s think about what Ron Burgundy’s jazz flute did to Mrs. Corningstone. Ron Burgundy mastered that flute and it made him able to bring her to Pleasure Town on animated horses and they were fuckin’ out in the solar system and all of that. So how could we not employ the talents of Ron Burgundy and his jazz flute on as many cuts as possible for Live in Concert. Nah, man. Honestly, that is the genius that is Bobby Humphrey and his album that was put together long before me and my brother Wiz ever thought about rapping. [Laughs] I think at one point there’s maybe like two minutes of flute and nothing else. It’s for everybody’s soul, man. Some people don’t understand it immediately, but after they give it a second and third listen, they understand the music.
I know there were some sample clearance issues with this project. Are these the original songs you recorded for it?
These are them sans one record that we didn’t put on because the person who owned the rights to that record…See we have no problem paying for clearances. I got no problem with that. But this guy, not only were we going to pay him for the sample clearance but he was trying to change lyrics. Things he didn’t like that Wiz said about a chick and shit he didn’t like that I said about weed. Basically we were like “Fam, if you don’t wanna make the bread then cool. We just won’t put the record out.” So homie chose not to pick up the bread and that’s fine. We’re not gonna jump through all these hoops on someone’s behalf when I feel like what we’re doing is going to put some more light on a body of work that our listeners don’t know shit about. We want them to know about it. That’s why we went through the proper channels to do it that way, so people who do their due diligence will see what this project sampled and want to hear that whole album. Then you pick up more money. You pick up the money ’cause we paid you to clear it and then you pick up the money from the kids who go to get the original album.
When did you guys originally record this?
We had already recorded this shit all the way back when my foot was broken. This is last year when we did this. I was on crutches. So we were originally going to put it out August 9th, the three-year anniversary of How Fly, but we realized the publishing company might come for us. Not so much on my part, because I feel like I’m still underground, but my brother done got so far up I thought they might feel some kind of way. If it was just me, it might fly under the radar, but to protect my brother we had to do it the right way. So it just took forever to get it right. This shit had been done. The only reason we went back in the studio and you’re seeing these pieces of video of us in the studio is because we recently went back in the studio like two weeks ago out in Cali just to listen to everything ’cause you know, I don’t listen to nothing that I record. So [Wiz] was like “Come on, let’s go listen to this in the studio and make sure everything’s gravy.”
What’s it like recording a project with Wiz now, as opposed to when you guys made How Fly?
Honestly, it’s exactly the same. It’s just we got way more trees to twist up and way more for everything. It used to be we got X-amount for pizza, X-amount for bud, X-amount for drink and then we gotta pay for studio time. But now it’s like… [Laughs] We just do whatever we want. It’s really the same, but we just put the cheat code in. So now we got like infinite bullets and 30 lives.