The first time I was introduced to Denzel Curry, was when I watched him in the XXL Freshman cypher in 2016. The video that has accumulated 87 million views on Youtube features the likes of Lil Uzi, Lil Yachty, 21 savage, and Kodak black. Although Curry delivered a great performance and showcased his ability to freestyle, its fair to say he fell behind the shadows of his peers. Nevertheless, it was clear that if nurtured, in time Curry could deliver something special. He was perfectly apt in dong so, he just needed more time to hone in his craft- that being hip hop. Two years on, Denzel now 23 has given us what we knew he was capable of – a 10 track album titled: Imperial.
An evening with the Florida native Denzel Curry was hosted by the lovely Lily Mercer, it was an intimate setting that took place in The Curtain. Going into the Q & A I didn’t know what to expect, in all honesty I just hoped that the new Denzel Curry I’d be hearing wouldn’t disappoint. When the interview started it was evident that this was a much newer, wiser and confident man sitting in front of me. Curry was humorous, honest and seemingly self-aware. I liked what I saw, but most importantly I enjoyed the snippets of the album that I was hearing.
Imperial is Curry’s third album release, and features Rick Ross and Joey Bada$$ to mention a few. To see Ross’ name appear, made me very intrigued, whilst Curry is loud on most of his track, Ross is the opposite. Curry describes this album as being Freddy vs Jason inspired. When he said this, it really struck me that he made such a comparison. I concluded that the album is in some way split into two opposing parts. What I mean by this is the content that he raps throughout the album are different- at times he’s mean, strong, conscious and direct. The shift for me starts from the eighth song. The last three songs in the album are different to the former songs. I would describe them to be more mellow. This is the Denzel Curry album we’ve wanted, one which gives us something quite diverse, whilst staying true to himself.
During the Q&A he mentioned how he wants “the album to be clear”, and he achieves this. I love how Curry is emotional and honest on the album, speaking on current issues around him, drugs and the state of America. He doesn’t shove any propaganda down your throat, but his words stick.
On my first listen to Sick & Tired I clung to each word, his flow is nice and consistent. In this song his words seem to suggest that he has an oppose saying: “look bro a n***a gonna make an example of this young n***ga”. This is the general mood throughout the song. Its very violent and dark, as he talks about incarceration, guns, and his ‘opps’.
I particularly enjoyed ‘Story: no title’, I feel we get to know Curry more in this song. In the third verse he raps about where he was brought up: “I was brought up inside a city that was built of cane.” The beat of the song is really great, which helps his lyrics.
The album all round is well crafted. He has some hard hitting lyrics, however on the flipside he has that new age sound, that comes with a lot of ignorance. The album for the most part can be thought provoking, so I commend him for that. Hip hop at its core, is meant to evoke some kind of hard hitting feeling and emotions, which Imperial does. There is still more time for Curry to reach his full potential, but for now Imperial is a good album!