Showing posts with label denzel curry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label denzel curry. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

video review: 'ZUU' by denzel curry

So yeah, this was fun - I'm a little pleased that I didn't really get much backlash to this one, but we'll see where that goes...

Anyway, Billboard BREAKDOWN is up next and then probably some country on the docket, so stay tuned!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

album review: 'ZUU' by denzel curry

I'll admit I wasn't expecting this.

Granted, I'll admit that might as well be a tagline for most of my experiences with Denzel Curry - from a smoked-out, nerdier brand hip-hop to the hyper-aggressive but potent as hell bangers of Imperial to the more stylized and diverse TA1300, his sound has only expanded and shown deeper wells of potential to grab a bigger and bigger following, so I guess I'm not averse to the 'coming home party banger' project that plays closer to a mixtape feel. Hell, one of my issues with TA1300 was that the experimentation felt a little undercooked, so maybe streamlining on a 'back to basics' mold could connect, and he's got a penchant for melody and hooks that puts many of his peers to shame. And considering how much I've really been looking for a "fun" hip-hop project over the past couple of weeks if he's going to drop something looser and overloaded with summer bangers, I'm be intrigued - I'm not sure I've heard Denzel Curry sound like he's having fun on an album in recent years, and I'm always conscious of the depth he'll slip between the lines. And while I'm not expecting him to give Sage Francis or B. Dolan a run for their money given how they came off This Was Supposed To Be Fun, I wanted to hear this regardless, and it was short enough to go down easy - so what did Denzel Curry deliver with ZUU?

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

video review: 'TA13OO' by denzel curry

Yeah, not that surprised about some of the blowback from this one. Eh, it happens.

Next up, Billboard BREAKDOWN, stay tuned!

album review: 'TA13OO' by denzel curry

So I always tend to get a flurry of comments whenever I cover trap music or Soundcloud rap that it's not intended to be lyrical or deep, it's just looking to be flashy or brutal or direct, relying on sheer raw power or its presentation to stick the landing. And while there is some truth to this, my counterargument is always 'well, you can have both, you know', as there's such a thing as visceral, hard-hitting hip-hop that can also be fiercely lyrical - Kendrick Lamar, Doomtree, Run The Jewels, Sage Francis, Death Grips, etc. Now the counterargument to that is often, 'well, it's too underground or too conceptual or too weird, what about easier subject matter?' And then I point at ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Styles P, Freddie Gibbs and you all get my point, but then the feeble defense is 'well, they're older and more traditionalist and I can't relate', so then I point to BROCKHAMPTON and that does tend to work, but then you get the charmers who get put off by all the gay content and who argue how they just want a new MC that appeals to pure trap rage for teenage white boys to live out the fantasy - because it is always white boys here. 

And while my natural inclination is to be dismissive and vaguely contemptuous - too late - my other response is point at Denzel Curry and say, 'are you happy now'. Most often their answer is no because they want me to validate their Soundcloud waifus who make me think they really should reconsider BROCKHAMPTON, but I honestly think Denzel Curry hits a really damn satisfying middle ground, especially coming off of his 2016 project Imperial. Explosively melodic production, bellicose but well-structured flows, and the sort of layered, self-flagellating content that unfortunately saw a lot of people dismiss his material as shallow but revealed significant depth in between the lines. Now my perennial issue with Denzel Curry has been on the production side, but when I heard that TA13OO - album complete with edgy spelling - had opted for even more abrasive and explosive production, I was definitely curious, especially as noisier experimental hip-hop is still relatively uncharted ground besides Death Grips and blowing out your subwoofer. So okay, what did we get from Denzel Curry on TA13OO?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

video review: 'imperial' by denzel curry

Man, this turned out pretty solid. Really dug it, just hope it's going to stick with me.

Next up... okay, I think I'm ready for Southern Family, so stay tuned!

album review: 'imperial' by denzel curry

You know, if I go back through my hip-hop reviews over the past few years, I've tended to notice a trend of which I'm certain many of you find exasperating: that even when the flows are good and can connect, if the actual lyrical content doesn't come through in the same way I tend to be a little more harsh. A$AP Rocky, The Game, Logic, Future, Drake, you get the general picture - these guys can flow, but if the content gets recycled or doesn't stand out, I don't tend to connect as strongly. Hell, even though I liked the Flatbush Zombies debut, I'm well-aware that without stronger, unique content, I might not come back to it in the same way. And for once I know exactly why that is: for one, while I like a good hook, when you hear so much music throughout the course of a year, the hooks really have to have strong melodic backdrop or real punch to really stick with me long term. Same with flows: I've heard so many cadences and methods of delivery that only the most distinctive and impressive stick with me - and yet when we come to content, it's not just reliant on pure technical craftsmanship to impress me and taps into a different part of my focus. To put it another way, if you give me a rap song with creative metaphors or really makes me think, I'll probably remember it a lot more than just the newest banger.

This takes us to Denzel Curry, a Miami rapper who is known for some insane, well-constructed flows and some weird, borderline-chiptune inspired hardcore production, but always grabbed me were his blend of raw and visceral gangsta storytelling and a reference pool that could dip into geekier subjects without sounding all that corny. And while I didn't love his debut album Nostalgic 64 - I thought it dropped off in quality on the final third despite having some potent tracks - when I heard his follow-up Imperial this year was going to be tighter, more concise, and even more hard-hitting, I prepared myself for an aggressively potent experience - did I get it?