Contemporary Hip-Hop is primarily focussed on Trap and because that particular sub-genre has been dumbed-down to the point of banality, the majority of consumers seem content with listening to contrived raps laid over contrived production. It’s strange that people can’t seem to differentiate between the dull shit and the decent shit, every time someone makes a memorable and skilled Trap track, the public ignore it for favour of some Mumble Rap bullshit. It’s very disconcerting that the majority of Hip-Hop music these days is derivative and cliched and yet the public seem to gravitate toward the very thing that is blighting the style.
This brings me to Denzel Curry, a very talented rapper who makes innovative Trap music that stands out from the rest of the mundane crowd. As part of XXL Magazine’s 2016 Freshman Class, it was only Denzel who was proficient at rapping, the rest were quite obviously unqualified to be there. It’s weird that a Hip-Hop publication and even Hip-Hop fans group artists together by their age and their choice of beats without hearing whether the rapper has distinctive vocals or content. Along with the likes of Cousin Stizz, Denzel Curry is very adept at making Trap music, but that being said, Curry’s sound actually wavers somewhere between Trap, Cloud Rap, and even Scream Rap, it’s actually hard to pin him down stylistically. What I will say is that lyrically he is very skilful, if you’ve never heard of him, here’s a couple of his music videos…
Walking a fine line between these aforementioned sub-genres means you can’t nail Denzel Curry’s style down, and because of this he is one of the most original Hip-Hop artists of his generation and is always someone to check out every time he drops new music.
From his Raider Klan days to his latest solo works, Curry makes music that is satisfying in terms of both beats and rhymes, and his rapid-fire delivery is always impressive…
Now before I go on, I’ll acknowledge that Denzel Curry is far from underground (his music videos on YouTube get millions of views) but in contrast to his online success, it’s a rare thing to hear him on radio or TV (at least here in the UK). In a time of production-focussed superficiality and mundane lyricism, rappers like Denzel Curry need to be aired more on traditional broadcast mediums in order to even the Hip-Hop playing field. People still stream and download conventional Trap on the recommendation of the mainstream media, but if these people bought music by rappers like Denzel Curry, mainstream Hip-Hop wouldn’t be so lacklustre.
I’ll also be the first to admit that Denzel hasn’t made that flawless album yet but every time he drops an LP, an EP, or a mixtape, there’s always something on there that instantly jumps out at you. With the snippet of the track “Sumo” wetting the appetite for his next album titled Taboo (or Ta13oo) hopefully he can make a classic album soon.