"I can make hamburgers, too, so I got my own shit." ~Curren$y, in this interview

Shante Franklin's rap career as "Curren$y" could be seen as the freelancer's dream (or myth). The New Orleans-native was friends with No Limit artist Soulja Slim and decided to get involved in the music industry. He was subsequently signed to Master P's No Limit from the early to mid-'00s. He left the label after producing little music that suited his tastes. He soon linked up with Lil' Wayne and joined his Young Money stable. After roughly a year, he publicly declared his independence on his MySpace page in 2007. After a half-decade of connections with major artists and labels, he found greater satisfaction as an independent artist.

Franklin promoted himself heavily through the Internet mixtape circuit. Reflecting his interests (and the reference points of his target markets), many of the mixtape titles borrowed from pop culture films or spectacles: Independence Day, Fear And Loathing In New Orleans, Fast Times At Ridgemont Fly and the literally titled Kicks, Video Games, Movies and Chicks. He formed the Fly Society clothing label with skateboarder "Compton Ass" Terry Kennedy.

Franklin's years in the industry began to pay off, as he was included in XXL magazine's "Freshmen 10" of 2009. He digitally released his first "album," This Ain't No Mixtape, that same year. The album featured production from New Orleans duo Monsta Beatz, as well as appearances by Bun B and Young Chris. He began working with record executive Dame Dash in late 2009, particularly with his DD172 artist collective/art gallery/record company/events promoter/kitchen-sink organization. And he spoke of collaborating with  Mos Def and Jay Electronica as a trio called Center Edge Territory. His album Pilot Talk was scheduled for release in 2010 through Dame Dash's BluRoc imprint. Franklin described the album as featuring production primarily by Ski Beatz. ~Dan Nishimoto

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