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"UNLOCKED" Denzel Curry

by Joe Tomlinson - Campus Talk Editor
Wed, Feb 26th 2020 02:35 pm

Denzel Curry, an American rapper, singer and composer originally from Carol City, Florida, dropped the latest installment of his discography, a brief eight track album titled “UNLOCKED.” The surprise project dropped on Friday, Feb. 7, as a joint album with frequent collaborator and close friend Kenny Beats, who has worked with countless other artists and is one of the most sought out producers in modern hip-hop.

Interestingly enough, the album coincides with a 23-minute YouTube video that conveys a narrative about how the album found itself on the internet before it was complete. A fact that explains the format of the tracks, which are listed in a file-like order. The project operates as a short multimedia experience that makes the most out of an album that barely reaches 18 minutes in length. 

The cover art looks similar to the front of a comic book or graphic novel, combining bright, vibrant colors, dynamic imagery and two stylized characters that represent Curry and Beats  respectively. Staying on theme, Curry makes several references to Greek mythology, Thanos, Sun Tzu, Lando Calrissian, the Corleone family and much more. Nothing is outside of his wheelhouse, inserting pop culture references into braggadocios rhymes, which seamlessly blend with his extensive vocabulary. 

The first track, fittingly titled “Track 01,” lasts just a minute and a half but features several transitions and beat switches in that time. It sets the table for “Take_it_Back_v2,” the hard-hitting second track with a bouncy beat that matches the unpredictable nature of Curry flow. 

Throughout the project, Beats and Curry display amazing chemistry across different tracks, and both delve into varying sounds. Beats runs stride for stride with his rapper counterpart, mixing in nostalgic or disorienting samples into his trap beats to match Curry’s enigmatic, hardcore style. 

My favorite track is “So.Incredible.pkg,” the longest song on the project at just over three minutes. A spacey, distorted sample sits in the background overlaid with head nod inducing drums. The percussion effects added by Beats rise and fall perfectly with Curry’s fluctuating flows and aggression. 

After his 2015 smash single Ultimate gained him notoriety, many people pigeonholed Curry as just another yelling, one-hit wonder Soundcloud rapper. With his “UNLOCKED” release, Curry has put out three projects in the span of three years, each one varying greatly from the last. He continues to evolve as an artist and is one of the brightest young talents in modern day hip-hop.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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