Hip-hop Hero

Smell that? It might be the scent of your roommate's fifth bong rip today. However, it could also be the Smoker's Club tour bus nearing the Arizona state line. As if you didn't already know that rap music and pot go together like alcohol and Taco Bell, Curren$y has made a career out of reinforcing the relationship. It's clear from the beginning of the recently released Pilot Talk II, when he ends his first song, "Airborne Aquarium," by repeating the album's mantra: "From the herb come the fire and the wind I'm living." Over the past year, Curren$y has released multiple music videos designed to simulate a smoking session between the viewer and the rapper. But Curren$y's stoned narrative is not what makes him relative. It's his stoned delivery. In his best release to date, Curren$y might have actually mastered the unmodulated flow that so many rappers employ. Even when he is stretching syllables and wordplays to their breaking point, he does so in a way that's hardly noticeable. In a game where most rappers try damn hard to appear as though they're not trying, Curren$y's flow is winning. — Chris Piel

Sat., Dec. 11, 8:45 p.m., 2010