Denzel Curry - TA13OO - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Denzel Curry - TA13OO

by Kyle Kersey Rating:8 Release Date:2018-07-27
Denzel Curry - TA13OO
Denzel Curry - TA13OO

Denzel Curry presents a 43 minute trilogy: helpfully color coordinated into Light, Gray, and Dark, feeding his flair for the dramatic. On his second LP, Curry displays the versatility that made him a breakout star on his debut release Imperial. There aren’t many bells and whistles here; just passion and a lyrical approach that separates him from the sea of self-made SoundCloud rappers. And the dude’s only 23 years old.

In a trap culture that’s been dominated in 2018 by overlong yet underwritten blockbusters, it’s refreshing to hear an album bereft of filler. Curry’s approach to hip-hop is at odds with the rest of his scene. Where others look to bloat, Curry subtracts. Take his execution of a three-act concept album that deals with the struggles of adolescence. He’d be more justified than his contemporaries to drag this whole thing out in order to game the algorithm and line his pockets with that sweet streaming money. Instead, he goes the other way, packing his imaginative narrative into a sleek 40-minute package.

He’s a firebrand of passion and controversy – a character that thrives off of going against the grain and artistically rebelling against his Soundcloud contemporaries – which makes the subject of TA13OO all the more resonant. It’s an ode to the damaged and misunderstood. It's like Johnny Cash only...ya know...without all the country and god and this is where this metaphor starts to break down. No more than a minute into the opening track, Curry spins the tale of someone who was molested at a young age, a fate he revealed he suffered too in an interview not long after the album dropped. He dives into the destructive nature of fame-seeking on "Clout Cobain" while lambasting the current state of the rap industry and his peers on "Percs". 

Then there’s the technical aspect of Curry. Unlike the monotonous wave of copycat trap which has been solidly rejecting lyricism for the better part of the decade, Curry embraces his lyrical prowess. “Switch It Up” is a microcosm of his diverse mic skills, from theatrical showmanship (see his exaggerated parody of “to be or not to be”) to a choppy early 2000s Eminem flow. The album progresses from a relaxed sway on Act 1 to a Rottweiler aggression by Act 3. If our ears really do tune out homogeneity, then this is the definition of ear candy.

And if nothing else, TA13OO solidifies Curry as a rising star not to be taken lightly.

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