Miami rapper Denzel Curry proves himself again with his latest album - a merging of many styles captured in a cohesive and consistent sound.
Having consistently proven himself as one of the most promising up-and-coming rappers since releasing Imperial in 2016 (or even the remix of ‘Ultimate’ which subsequently became a meme within hip-hop circles, if not wider), Miami hip-hop sensation Denzel Curry is back following up his genre-bending masterpiece TA13OO (2018) with a new record (Yes, Zuu and the two UNLOCKED records released between them, but both feel a little slight in comparison).
Curry has made it clear from the start of his career that his art cannot be written into any corner as he consistently switches it up stylistically, whether that be between records or even between tracks as he did consistently on the aforementioned TA13OO which was released in three ‘acts’ – one pop rap, one more trap-infused and a grand finale of death metal hip-hop that remains wildly impressive even today.
His new album, Melt My Eyez See Your Future sees him do the same again, moving away from the Pantera inspired sound of TA1300 and the MF DOOM inspired UNLOCKED towards a new sound that sees Curry fuse his neo-soul interests and his ability as a singer with his intense and East Coast inspired rap style.
That isn’t all though – Curry is bold in more than just his sound, and his willingness to experiment with that sound as he speaks on majorly difficult topics from the start of this record to its end. The album’s opener, ‘Melt Session #1’ sees Curry turn introspective as he speaks of his struggles with suicidal thoughts, with his social struggles and some allusions to experiencing sexual assault as a child over a gentle beat of drums, keys and a beautifully mixed choir. Instead of the grim tone of TA13OO, this record carries with it a distinct sense of hope.
Making use of a range of huge named producers, including Thundercat, JPEGMAFIA and previous Curry collaborator Kenny Beats as well as a wide roster of features (stand-outs being experimental poet Saul Williams, T-Pain, J.I.D. and Slowthai), the album is expansive but still maintains a cohesive and focused sound. This sound is thrilling, merging Curry’s previous styles together (of hardcore gangsta rap, neo-soul, metal, etc) whilst also pushing more towards a more 90s style of boom-bap and jazz rap.
From the pop rap high of the intensely catchy ‘Ain’t No Way’ to the empowering lead single ‘Walkin’, Melt My Eyez See Your Future is an album which should have some tracks pleasing to almost any ear that can tolerate hip-hop. Personal highlights are ‘Melt Session #1’, ‘Walkin’, ‘Ain’t No Way’, ‘Troubles’ and ‘Zatoichi‘, but there is a lot to love in this rich album which appears to promise to increase in meaning and power with more listens.
Melt My Eyez See Your Future is now on streaming services via Loma Vista Recordings. Listen to the album’s leading single ‘Walkin‘ on YouTube below: