At this point in time, Curren$y had generated quite the blogosphere buzz in the previous two years with his ridiculous prolific-ness (the man puts out an average of six releases a year – none of them bad) and the successes of both Pilot Talk and Pilot Talk 2 in 2010.
Weekend at Burnie’s is both his first major release of 2011 (at this point in the year, he’s already squeezed out an EP and a mixtape and he’ll have another mixtape out before the summer’s up), but more importantly, “his first commercial release since signing his new Warner Bros. deal.” But, as Pitchfork’s Tom Breihan notes, “You never get the impression that much is at stake for Curren$y.” In that respect, I’d call this one a bit of a wasted opportunity. The only guests on Weekend at Burnie’s are his Jetlife crew or else one appearance from long-time collaborator Fiend while his subject matter has actually regressed since 2010 into the cardboard character critics commonly associate him as – he smokes weed, and he’ll occasionally fuck a girl. Although, on the flipside, I think he learned something from the lukewarm reception of Weekend at Burnie’s when he released his major record debut the following year, but that one saw him jumping on every pop rap bandwagon imaginable – more on that some other time.
Now, if you’re already been convinced by Curren$y’s greatness, that criticism doesn’t really matter. That being said, it’s not as consistently great as Pilot Talk; I personally can’t stand “Still” because the beat sounds like it was made out of a steam kettle that just won’t shut up even if you’ve turned off the stove while his aforementioned adherence to ataraxia makes for a pretty boring middle and closing stretch of tracks – Pilot Talk avoided this trap by pulling all manner of big names guests for verses and beats to mix things up. All that being said, Monsta Beats, who produces the bulk of Weekend at Burnie’s has learned a few tricks since he helped out with the Curren$y coming out party of 2009, This Ain’t No Mixtape. “One Life” might be a trifle, but it’s great to hear Curren$y rap over a beat that sounds like it would’ve been at home on The Chronic or Doggystyle; the keyboard-driven “This is the Life” boasts the only singable chorus of the set (as opposed to the lackadaisical hooks of “She Don’t Want a Man” or “JLC” – however catchy they might be) and the drugged out soul sample of “Money Machine” makes it a keeper (bad move putting “What’s What” right after it, especially when it sounds exactly the same – minus that soul sample).
But even if this one isn’t as consistent or as – more importantly – consistently good as Pilot Talk, it’s still the Curren$y joint I pick the most while on merry jaunts with Mary Jane. That’s because it has two of Curren$y’s best tracks ever, neither of which are produced by Monsta Beatz (and unsurprisingly, both were released as singles). Opener “#JetsGo” has him namedropping everyone imaginable on the album’s funniest cut (“you know I Speed / Minus the bus and Keanu Reeves”) and the last verse has him navigating through syllables without ever stopping to take a breath. Meanwhile, “She Don’t Want a Man” is a well-thought out narrative as Curren$y details running with a married woman (“How she feel bad by feeling so good, by giving me the ass / ’bout how if she could, she a tell a nigga everything / To get it off her chest but she don’t want see him mad / Collecting her underwear from the rooms of my pad”). The majestic “#JetsGo” by Rahki and the lush cloud rap of “She Don’t Want a Man” (frankly, the best cloud rap track of 2011 – take that, A$AP!) are practically tailored to Curren$y’s style, and I should’ve liked to see more of them.