A lot of MCs rap about how much they like cars, women, and weed, but New Orleans's Curren$y makes that the defining aspect of his personality. After a hot streak of great albums, from the Ski Beatz-laced Pilot Talk I and II to Alchemist teamup Covert Coup to Weekend at Burnies, he's turned out to be the type of rapper who can pick up the expected themes and go to outlandish places with them. ("Michael Knight" still ranks up there with the best of recent late-night-hotboxing soundtracks: "I got highed up so I could autograph the sky.") He values laid-back smoothness over amped-up anthems — more basement rec room than VIP section — and that could be a reason why, even after stints on star-making labels No Limit and Cash Money, he's still something of an underrated cult figure. That could change once The Stoned Immaculate drops later this spring: Guest spots from Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and 2 Chainz, along with beats from the Neptunes and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, seem like the kind of co-signs that could raise Curren$y's profile without compromising his fogged-up, easygoing poise. With the Jets, Smoke Dza, Fiend 4 Da Money, Corner Boy P, Trademark, and Young Roddy. 18+. (Photo by Chris Stanford)
Mon., May 21, 8 p.m., 2012

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