While similar in feel to it’s predecessor, Pilot Talk, this follow-up is much less commercial in approach.With a resume thrice as long as expected from an artist who so recently gained national attention — No Limit Records signee until 2005, Young Money until 2007, dropping a jaw-dropping 10 mixtapes since 2008 earning him a spot on XXL’s vaunted Freshmen ‘10 cover — N.O.’s Hot Spitta has cultivated his corner of the Rap-o-sphere so potently that the aroma defines expectations. His lazy flow and unconventional rhyme schemes and seemingly train-of-thought ramblings have always been the roots of his appeal. It’s what fans appreciate about him first. It’s half of what makes Pilot Talk 2 (his second album this year) engaging despite it’s consistently limited content.
Take album opener, “Airborne Aquarium” for example, where Curren$y meanders about his T-top ’87 Corvette, smashing under his new pool table, his chick who calms his “bad nerves” so he calls her “his Ritalin” and other contextual aimlessness. The track works because of the way lines like “Emotional luggage / Nothing of it / I don’t check bags / I just carry on leave that bullshit in the past” bounce all over the track’s hopping snares and lurking flutes. The same combination carries cooled out cut, “Michael Knight”. From the dope Paid In Full movie reference that opens the first verse to the second’s unflinching conclusion (“Survive rough land / Cactus plants growing in dessert sands / Alive I stand / Left for dead though a nigga didn’t die / I got highed up so I could autograph the sky”), Curren$y survives because he floats so erratically.
“Flight Briefing”’s triumphant high hats and bluesy intonations and the presence of arguably the album’s most introspective verse adds a quick hit of celebration to PT2. It’s nearly impossible not to feel a sense of inspiration when hearing Spitta earnestly dissect his atypical path to recognition:
“With these lazy eyes I’ve seen / More than you can see in seven lifetimes / Get you on track / Got the fresh scoop from inside / Give you insight on the situation cause I’ve done it twice / Done the dotted line tight rope walk / Where the suits want results they don’t talk / Dozens of songs locked away / and rotting in a vault / No one to blame it was solely my fault / No salt thrown”
It’s nearly impossible not to picture Curren$y and Dom Kennedy flying down a beach side highway somewhere, passing the joint back and forth, “Ocean’s in the back, Porsche’s in the front,” when floating to the trumpets and subtle electric bass strings on “Real Estates” — even if the song offers little more than women and whips. Swagger alone isn’t a substitute for range, but it is enough to leave an impression; to appreciate the groove.
Regardless of what subject Spitta starts on, women and weed will eventually wander it’s way into the verse. It’s not a surprise. It’s part of the train-of-thought nature of his style and the reason there isn’t a track longer than four minutes and 48 seconds on any of his last four projects: his content is so focused that anything extra is an overkill. His lazy, unconventional flow adds just enough depth to require dissection to keep up, yet the outcome is always predictable. There’s rarely a surprise ending so the production becomes infinitely more important to overall replay value, and Spitta’s ear for beats is far from suspect.