STORY BY: Terence "T.King" King
PHOTOS BY: Shawn Colin (Colin Photography) and Eric Bodden (J & I Photography)
After over a decade in the rap game , Curren$y aka Hot Spitta or Spitta for short, admits that he’s lost track of how many albums and mixtapes he’s released and at the current rate he’s going, he’ll soon do so with his muscle cars. If you have had the opportunity to listen to any one of his albums or mixtapes, you will know that his love for cars runs deep and it’s “bowtie till I die” in Curren$y’s own words. With more tours on the forefront, two recently released albums with another one on the way, this addiction is only getting worse and Curren$y’s fleet is only getting bigger. We recently caught up with 29 yr old Curren$y, born Shante Franklin, at Street Customs Motorsports in New Orleans East, where he was also born and raised. Street Customs is also the home of Street Customs Management, which manages Curren$y and several other artists who either work or parlay at the shop on a regular basis.
Curren$y has maintained his love for cars, fashion, women, and green vegetation in his music throughout his career which consists of stops at several major labels, partnerships, and finally ownership. In 2001 Curren$y was signed to Master P’s No Limit Records until 2005 when he was signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Records until 2007. He’s now working with Damon Dash at DD172 and is the Chief Pilot of his own, J.E.T.S, which according to Curren$y means, J.ust E.njoy T.his S.hit …..In reference to life. That is exactly what he is doing while remaining independent and continuing to grow his business empire and automotive collection daily.
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So where does this love for HOT CARS come from?
Hot Wheels! I had the cases full. All of this is everything that I had small. I don’t like this new shit. I can get it, but I didn’t have that. Everything I had little, I’m getting that shit and checking it off the list. I had Doughboys car. I had to get that out my system. I had the Monte Carlo small, the IROC small, the Vette small. I built all that shit. I was building model cars and scale levels in real life.
What was your first car?
My pops gave me a Regal, but I didn’t seek that out. The 64 Impala was by my design. I wanted that car. That was my first.
What type of cars do you prefer?
Chevy’s all the time. I look at other shit though. I like to look at Regals and Grand Nationals and the 73 Cutlass before the G-Bodies. It was like a big floater. I’ll go on eBay, look at them, price them but I know in my heart that I would never pick it up. Right now, I want a 2 door Caprice Box with the big slant back glass. We found one, but I tweeted Mousa the link to the car and when the hits blew up the guy took it down because so many people looked at it. Nah Dog, people looked at it because I made a mistake and put it on twitter. Just put it back up there man. We had your loot dude. Come off it brah.
What is your favorite car of all time:
64 Impala, 2 door hardtop SS. I had a sunroof cut in my shit. That was kind of bogus. (Laughing). It’s the best though. It’s big, but it’s not too big. That’s the best time they (Impalas) had.
What work are you currently doing to your 1984 Monte Carlo SS?
We got rid of the 305 that it had. We’re going to a 350 c.i.d. We are not concerning ourselves with the old 305 because the numbers didn’t match anyway. The reason I was fighting for that motor was because I thought the numbers matched so at the end of the day when I’m like 60 I already knew what an 84 Monte Carlo SS was going to be. If you look in an old Motor Trend, they predicted the next classics and I have like 4 out of 11. I have the 84 Monte Carlo, 79 El Camino, an 85 IROC Z, and had the Impala, but didn’t have the 67 that they listed. I sold my 64 Impala. I’m thinking about getting a 65 though. If so, I’ll probably put some switches on it and just chill out.
What is your latest car purchase?
The Corvette. It’s an 89 ZR1, but I do have something that I just picked up that is still on the truck being shipped to me. It’ll be here any day now. You know I do my EBay thing. It’s a 73 Laguna. That is the year that they stopped making the Chevelle. That is the Chevelle SS of that time because the logos are only SS on the car from the factory. It’s actually going to look like just an SS and that’s the good thing about the Laguna. SS What? That’s going to be a good time.\
What is the Most Important Aspect of a custom car in your opinion?
Knowing when you’re crossing the line like how you and I we were talking earlier about Caprice and Caprice SS and how that doesn’t exist. When you create a custom car, you’re doing what you want to do. For example, it’s like, my corvette with the two red stripes has stripes from a Gran Sport, but what would have been wack is if I painted my car blue with the white and red stripes. Then I would have been saying it’s a Gran Sport and that’s not what I’m saying. It’s a legitimate Vette anyway, but it’s grey with the stripes. As long as you keep it all the way 100 with what you are doing and understand that there are lines and rules to this shit you’ll be good. A custom car is your interpretation, but you have to stay true to what the glory and the history behind the car is. It’s like say for instance I bought my Corvette to put a Lamborghini Kit on it. Now it’s like, I slapped Corvette heritage in the face and I pissed on the Lamborghini Brand because I just made some shit up. It’s an abomination.
Do you have any crazy car stories?
I was riding around prom night in my mom’s Mitsubishi Expo LRV fussing with this girl about missing nuggets because we didn’t go to the prom, we went to Wendy’s. I ran a stop sign and smacked this drunk dude in an Oldsmobile Toronado, 80s model. Dude was so wasted that he just let me go. He told me, “I know you in the wrong, but I’m more in the wrong than you lil man” I tore his car to pieces but my mom’s car survived with only a bent license plate. He was such a cool dude with his little mack daddy hat. I never stole my parent’s car and might have smashed 2 or 3 chicks in my lifetime in the whip. I don’t do too much. I just put together some decent machines. I’m pretty conservative outside of my smoking.
What is your latest music project and is it released on any label?
Pilot Talk II. We just released it November 22nd. Pilot Talk I was released July 13 and Muscle Car Chronicles will be released sometime this month, December. Pilot Talk II is what it’s about right now. We’re shooting videos for the remaining 12 songs. The video for Michael Knight is already out. You can pick up the album at iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy, FYE, and Target. Matter of Fact, go to Target and get yourself a stick of deodorant, a laptop, a basketball, and Pilot Talk II. I don’t think we’re in Wal Mart though. They’re not too big on my affinity for broccoli and various green vegetation. As far as labels, I’m representing me, J.E.T.S., JETLIFE. That’s why I wear the jackets. I’m a Saints fan and New York is my second home, but when I wear this, it’s all about the J.E.T.S meaning J.ust E.njoy T.his S.hit…referring to life. We are all alive, we’re here, so don’t kill yourself. I know it might suck today, but you’ll get through it. Enjoy it, find the best thing about it, go to sleep and wake up until the time you don’t. But while you’re here, just enjoy it.
What’s up with the whole Michael Knight concept?
The same thing like the Hot Wheels I explained earlier. I had the Michael Knight that talked with the voice commands and that was a serious thing for me. It burned into my brain, David Hasselhoff riding around in a Trans Am, battling another Trans Am. A lot of legit shit happened in that series and it meant a lot to me. It was everything that a little dude wanted to see on T.V. A dude kicking ass, getting the girl, driving a Trans Am, and doing fuckin' doughnuts…
How do you respond to people that say how are you supposed to be Michael Knight, but you drive a corvette in the Michael Knight Video?
Nah man, I definitely know Knight Rider was a Pontiac Trans Am, but I definitely say in the song bowtie till I die so I couldn’t really ride around in a Trans Am in the video. Although, I am a fan of the Pontiac Judge GTO. I can’t frown at that car, but that’s the only one.
How many Mixtapes and Albums have you released in your career?
Off hand, I don’t know. I know I did one every month in 2008, I did Smokee Robinson in 2009, then there’s How Fly with Wiz Khalifa, Jet Files, This Ain’t no Mixtape…You know what? Face it, I lost count, but I’m cool with that. I do have a bad memory, but I never forget the weed.
Do you have a daily driver?
I sold it a couple days ago to my homeboy Corner Boy P. It’s a 2005 Dodge Ram Bumblee Bee. I got a couple racks and a hell of a dog out of the deal. And, he just found me another daily driver too. We got a 96 Impala on the way over here. We’re going to look at it and see what management feels about it and whether or not there’s room in my plan for it. If there is then I’ll go ahead and drop a few duckets on it. That might happen on HOT CARS today. We might just buy the 96 live on HOT CARS TV, but it won’t be a caprice. If you see me riding in something it will be a true Impala SS.
What message do you want to leave with the viewers in HOT CARS TV LAND?
Yo, if it’s a V6, don’t buy it, especially if it’s in a muscle car body… If you get a Challenger and it sounds like a SeaDoo, I’ll dismantle your car at the light and slash your tires at the movies. I’m a little upset with this new Green Camaro Special Edition with rally stripes. It’s a V6 and that’s a bummer. That is, unless you’re going to house of color, getting that color paint, and spraying your SS. Then that’s cool and I can respect that. Stay tuned to HOTCARSTV.TV if you have a computer. If not, call your homegirl, ask to use her MAC Book, Log on, and you’ll see some decent cars man. You might see some people perpetrating, but we’re ousting you every time. We should put together a column for fronters and people in a rush and we’ll definitely give you guys a hall of shame. (Laughing) But seriously, HOTCARSTV.TV is it. Check them out on FACEBOOK and @HOTCARSTV on TWITTER. You should know how to spell that. As for me, I’m probably going to get off the streets and roll something…JETLIFE!
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SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR HELPING MAKE THIS A SUCCESS