Curren$y, New Orleans’ most prolific stoner, rapper and Jet Life commander in cheef, rolls into the House of Blues this week to celebrate the holidays with a “Lighting of the Tree.” It’s a toast to ring in Christmas and the New Year but also should serve as a pat on the back for Curren$y after another year of well-received mixtapes, singles and other projects expanding his slow-rolling universe that’s carved out a unique space in New Orleans hip-hop.
Next year marks a decade since the release of his first solo album (appropriately titled “This Ain’t No Mixtape”), his rap reintroduction after a split from Cash Money Records that glimpsed the soul music-sampling, easy flow MC (a sound he once described to Gambit as “like how a Crown Royal bag looks”) on critical hits like his “Pilot Talk” series and within his camp of Jet Life collective. But he’s rarely slowed down — this year he released four mixtapes (including “The Marina,” his yacht rock-inspired collaboration with Harry Fraud) and “Fetti,” an album with rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer The Alchemist.
He ends the year (or does he?) with December’s “Grand,” weaving in Grand Puba’s 1995 “I Like It (I Wanna Be Where You Are)” with a classic drum sample, a nostalgic homage to hip-hop’s golden era with a holiday-inspired vibraphone riff. He closes with a surprisingly affecting final verse, that for all the countless head-in-the-clouds, day-in-the-life bars he’s put in to a massive catalog, a manifesto for self-realization through high times and low riding, he’s brought back down to earth knowing he’s one of the lucky ones.
“Rest in peace to the homie Young Greatness,” he raps, honoring the New Orleans rapper who was killed in October. “Everything in the city is another risk that we take. Dangerous game but we keep playing, but we know deep inside one of us gonna make it.”
Tickets $20-$61. At 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22 at House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999; www.houseofblues.com/neworleans.