Denzel Curry is an American rapper who has released six studio albums, five mixtapes, and more than 30 singles since he entered the music industry in 2011. From his trippy dreadlock hairstyle to his aggressiveness in pushing boundaries in music videos, it is easy to recognize how talented this hip-hop star is. Throughout his career, he’s worked with creative minds like Kenny Beats. If you’re a heavy metal diehard, you likely wonder which of Curry’s studio albums is worth a spot in your playlist. Below is a list of the five best albums he’s released, from the oldest to the newest.
5. Nostalgic 64 (September 3, 2003)
Nostalgic 64 depicts how Generation Y & Z voice their opinions using Denzel Curry’s rap lyrics. At the time, Curry was only 18 years old. The album contains tracks like Zone 3, Dark & Violent, Threatz, N64, and Parents. The then 18-year-old Denzel talks about challenges that teenagers and young adults face as they try navigating life around their parents, police, teachers and other influential people in society. Upon listening to some of the tracks in this album, it is easy to notice sounds from his past and the present while tapping into his future. Listen as he collaborates with some of South Florida’s notable talents like Robb Bank$, Steven A. Clark, Yung Simmie, and Nell of Raider Klan. The album also features producers like Rem. Ronny J of the lead single “Threatz” and Atlanta’s J. Green crafted a high-energy anthem in “Talk That Sh**t.” You’ll also be pleased to watch underground favorites like Lil Ugly Mane, JK the Rapper, and Mike G of Odd Future.
4. Imperial (March 9, 2016)
Imperial is a 40-minute studio album by Denzel Curry. It features tracks like ULT, Gook, Sick & Tired, Knotty Head, Me Now, Zenith, Good Night, and If Tomorrow’s Not Here. Upon listening to a few songs, it is no surprise that Denzel sounds trigger-happy. It is not difficult noticing how head-bashing and explosive are songs are. Take the intro track “ULT,” for example; it starts with a mysterious bass sound with watery-laced keys throughout the track. That’s bait to get you hooked. Lyrically, Denzel is a masterpiece. He touches on vital issues like racism, police brutality, and his beef with his former mentor. ULT is an abbreviation of many phrases like:
· Utilizing limitless talent
· Unity, love, and trust
· Ultimately liberating together
3. ZUU (May 31, 2019)
ZUU is another one of Curry’s albums that depicts his hometown culture. The album showcases the culture in places like the wider South Florida milieu, Carol City, Dade County, and the Greater Miami Area. Ricky, Bushy B Interlude, Speedboat, Automatic, Birdz, and Shake 88. He credits the album’s success to the Australian production duo Finatic N Zac and FnZ. The tracks “Birdz” and “Shake” also mark the appearance of Rick Ross. It seems the only person missing in this album is Flo-rida, another famous rapper. However, Curry is the binding agent who places himself in the city’s heart. Curry also pays tribute to his hometown by narrating his life experiences. It’s a mixture of memories trickling down as if it’s all coming back to him in flashbacks. It is no wonder Curry dubs himself among his hometown’s most distinguished representatives.
2. UNLOCKED (February 7, 2020)
Kenny Beats is not only talented in producing incredible hip-hop tracks, but he’s also an amazing lyrical crafter. This concept plays out effectively in the 2020’s album UNLOCKED. The whole album is more like a compilation of leaks straight from Kenny’s library. The album features incredible tracks like Take_It_Back_v2, Pyro, DIET_, So Incredible, pkg, Cosmic, and Track01. According to The Fader, the first conventional rap, “Take it Back,” creates a nostalgic setting, almost sounding like his previous mixtape, Nostalgic 64. Throughout the album, you get to marvel at Curry’s lyrical masterpiece, less melodic layups, and the rap voice from Denzel that you may not have heard over the years. The album ends with the track “Cosmic,” an ideal acme of the 90s production. It’s easy to notice the near-perfect rhymes about drug trafficking and abuse, laced with fame—the track bows down the album, depicting a perfect climax.
1. TA1300 (July 27, 2018)
Did you know that TA1300 is the best of Denzel Curry’s albums? The album ranked number 1,142 in the overall greatest album chart. It had a total rank score of 1,598. In terms of the overall artist rankings, Denzel comes in 762. Listening to this album’s tracks, it doesn’t take rocket science to notice how artistry the renowned SoundCloud rapper is. TA1300 is a corrupted distillation of the song “Taboo.” According to billboard.com, Denzel talks about the death of Trayvon Martin and XXXTentacion. He also touches on his relationship with a young lady who grew up suffering emotional abuse. Denzel offers the young woman a shoulder to try on, a replica of a damsel in distress. Besides “Taboo,” the album contains tracks like Black Balloons, Cash Maniac, Sumo, Switch it Up, Mad I Got It, Black Metal Terrorist Sirens, and Clout Cobain. The hip-hop artist talks about topics like the presidential election, fame, hatred, paranoia, revenge, love, and the current state of music.
Overall, Curry’s instrumental and vocal style of his albums will take you back to the cloud rap era. He may have started as a young rapper battling it out among bigwigs like P. Diddy, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Eminem, and Fabolous. However, his lyrics, rap style, choice of producers have proven how exceptionally talented he is in rapping. Though he’s currently released only five albums, we hope he’ll continue surprising us with more. This list portrays how he’s grown and nurtured his rapping skills, giving more budding and upcoming rappers the chance to try out their talents in the hip-hop industry. Curry announced his new album- Melt My Eyez, See Your Future on January 5, 2022. The album features collaborations with J.I.D, Robert Glasper, Kenny Beats, T-Pain, Thundercat, Nasty, and more. The album is already out and waiting for you to explore.