Since Curren$y was barely a teenager, his manager and business partner Mousa Hamdan has been by his side — from the early Young Money/Cash Money days to his now-independently built empire recognized across the nation. Hamdan has helped Curren$y deal with law enforcement, get treated like the star he is, and tour with a broken foot.
“We set up the stage to look like his house and put a couch on the stage. We built some walls to make it look like an actual house,” Hamdan explained to REVOLT. “We did probably 45 shows like that with him in a cast. He was hopping around.”
In this installment of “Tour Tales,” Curren$y’s longtime manager explained Curren$y and Lil Wayne’s brotherhood; how a tour bus driver put him, Curren$y, and their entire crew in jail; and how the rap veteran has evolved over 20-plus years.
How did you first connect with Curren$y?
I’ve known him since he was 12 or 13 years old. I had a record label back in the day and Curren$y’s brother, Mr. Marcelo, was signed to me at the time. His name was Jisadies. I didn’t connect with Curren$y then, but I always saw him sitting on the porch when I used to come to pick up Jisadies. I was 17. When Curren$y got an offer with Young Money — a Young Money/Cash Money deal — he called me and said, “Look, I want you to be my manager.” I was like, “Cool, that ain’t no problem.” Back in the day, when New Orleans hosted the Super Bowl [in 2002], I was cool with Dee and Waah from the Ruff Ryders. So, they were coming down for the Super Bowl, bringing their bikes and everything. Jadakiss came down, too. I brought all of them to the projects [in Magnolia], and Curren$y was there because his brother lived in Magnolia. So Curren$y saw that and said, “If you could bring the Ruff Ryders, DMX, and Jadakiss to Magnolia, you can do anything (laughs).”
Since you’ve been managing Curren$y for almost 20 years, what do you remember about the first show you ever put on with him?
I started managing him in 2005 when he signed with Young Money/Cash Money. The first show we did was the “BET Black College Tour.” At first, I think he wasn’t sure what to expect, but you could tell he was a star on the stage because he was animated. The people loved him, even though they didn’t know his music. He had “Where Da Cash At” at the time. So that song was bubbling off the Lil Wayne mixtape, and Mack Maine was the hype man. We didn’t have much of a show. We had probably 10 minutes of show time.
I remember seeing Curren$y and Lil Wayne freestyling on a tour bus years ago. What do you remember about their camaraderie on the road?
It was like brothers. Lil Wayne loved Curren$y, straight up. Before Curren$y really got where he’s at, Wayne wouldn’t do an interview without mentioning Curren$y, or he’d have Curren$y come to the interviews with him. They were like brothers. Curren$y wouldn’t go to the store without buying something for him and Lil Wayne. It would be like, “I’m getting these shoes; I know Wayne would f**k with these. Let me grab this pair for him. They both wore the same size.
What was your role on that first tour with Curren$y?
The first tour that we had with Wayne was “The Street Dreams Tour.” It was Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy [in 2007]. At that time, he was just bringing Spitta [Curren$y] out on his set. He was bringing the whole Young Money out but Spitta was last, and of course, he was hyping Spitta up the most out of everybody. I rode the bus with Spitta. I did regular managerial duties at that time. I ensured he was straight and got everything he needed wardrobe-wise. It was just him and I at the time. We didn’t have any assistants. I kind of did everything.
Were there any smoking incidents at venues that were more confrontational than you or Curren$y would’ve liked them to be?
It’s probably the one venue we did in Sacramento. We had an issue with security, and they wanted to put him off stage. They wanted to take him off stage for smoking, and we aren’t about to let anybody touch him. So, it got heavy between us and security at the venue. Later, we ended up hashing it out and getting them to understand. We had other issues at venues that don’t understand Curren$y’s reach because he’s not this radio artist. Security may think, “Who is this Curren$y guy?” They can’t understand the number of fans that are coming. So, you have to tell them, “Look, when he comes through that door, you have to treat him as if he was Lil Wayne coming through it because he’s not going to accept anything less just because you are unfamiliar with him.”
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Things got a bit dicey on “The Stoned Immaculate Tour” when Curren$y got arrested before the Dallas show. Can you walk me through what transpired then? What do you do as a manager in that situation?
We were parked on the side of the House of Blues in Dallas. Myself, the band, and everybody are inside doing soundcheck, getting everything together. Curren$y’s on the bus smoking, and he had the back window cracked, not knowing the police were parked on the next corner. The police smelled that weed coming off the bus and were demanding to get on the bus. We always knew from our first, first driver that our bus was a private coach bus, and they don’t have any rights — just like entering your home. They demanded everybody off the bus, which turned into something crazy. There were three people on the bus. It was another one of our artists, a female we knew from California that had a medical card, and Curren$y.
So, she was like, “All the weed is mine.” With the help of Live Nation and House of Blues, we talk them out of getting him. They were like, “This is the headliner, bro. We can’t send him to jail.” But, it took three or four hours of negotiating. They did take one person to jail, but we bonded him out. That was easy. That probably was the one time Curren$y almost went to jail. There’s another time that all of us went to jail. There were 17 people on the bus, and we were on the D.C., Maryland, Virginia line. We were coming from Buffalo on tour at three in the morning when the trailer came off the bus — it came loose.
It just flipped down into the median. The bus driver, his dumb a**, calls the state troopers for help. They don’t care about a trailer. They want to know about the smell coming off this bus. So, they literally went on the bus and got everybody off. It was 17 of us. It was freezing, and they didn’t let anybody put on jackets or anything. They literally found a roach, bro. They didn’t find any real weed. So, they asked, “Who’s this for?” They were asking who was sleeping in the middle bunk. We all knew it was Spitta’s bunk. So Fendi P, who was going by Corner Boy P at the time, said it was his bunk. Then somebody else on the bus who should have just stayed quiet said, “That’s my bunk (laughs).” So, the state trooper was like, “Oh yeah? It’s community property. It’s everybody’s bunk, everybody going to jail.”
Everybody … even the bus driver. The bus went to jail, and the trailer went to jail separately. They really did what they could to f**k us over. We got to jail, and we’re the only ones in this little jailhouse. We finally see the lady and she’s like, “I can’t believe he brought you to jail for this.” She [released everybody on recognizance] and got everybody out. Then, we had to get the bus and trailer from the tow yard. It was two separate charges. It cost us about five grand just to get the bus and the trailer. I called the bus company and said, “Look, get us a new driver, bro. This dude has to go.”
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Let’s get back to the stage. How have you seen Curren$y evolve as a live performer?
His comfort and confidence level grow with every show. Being a real, true hip hop [head], he’ll refuse to rap on a song with lyrics. There was a show at the House of Blues in New Orleans. 2 Chainz was on stage, and he had Curren$y come do a song with him. Curren$y was like, “Bro, I don’t remember that song.” 2 Chainz was like, “Bro, come on out here. We’re both professionals.” They got out there and winged it. The professionalism has grown. The business aspect of it has also grown. He’s grown from being just an artist to being a businessman and understanding the business.
What were some wild live performance moments that stuck out to you?
I can’t remember if it was the first or second “Smokers Club Tour,” but Curren$y had a broken leg. He broke it at Rock The Bells in San Bernardino. Curren$y jumped off the stage, and the cord from the speaker got caught on his leg. When he came down, he broke his ankle. Now, mind you, he got up, continued, jumped the barricade, and ran into the crowd. I’m jumping off the stage, following behind him, and jumping the barricade. He’s a little distance from me. I turned to look at him and he looked at me like, “I broke my leg.” So, he was in pain. I picked him up, brought him back over the barricade, and then we were waiting on the ambulance that would take too long. So, we hurried up and just drove to this hospital. We had to sit in L.A. for an extra four or five days because he couldn’t fly until the swelling went down. Luckily, the orthopedic surgeon in L.A. told us that one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the country is in New Orleans, so we could just fly home and get the surgery done there. So we ended up doing that.
He got the surgery done and then had a cast on it, and we had “Smokers Club Tour” coming up in three weeks. I was like, “Bro, what do you want to do?” So, we set up the stage to look like his house and put a couch on the stage. We built some walls to make it look like an actual house. So, we just started implementing that type of stuff to the stage scene, and there were props and stuff. We did probably 45 shows like that with him in a cast. He was hopping around.
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You both have been through a lot. What do you have coming for the rest of the year?
We have a lot of spot dates for the rest of this year; we don’t plan on touring. We got Rolling Loud in New York. We got a couple of West Coast runs. We’re touching all the bigger cities. I think we’re going to wrap up the year with some more recording and surprises.
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