Denzel Curry’s fourth album is half an hour of Miami verve.
If anyone aims to set the bar high in rap, it’s Denzel Curry. The Florida rapper quickly escaped from the meme rapper status to forge an identify of an album artist, a compelling rapper with tales in the stash. 2018’s Ta1300 was a step forward for Curry, conceptually courageous and containing some of his best material to date. Ten months latter, Curry is on course to make his abrasive style more accessible.
On Zuu, Curry tones down the complexity to add a necessary record to the progression of his career.
Twelve tracks and ten songs is all it takes for Denzel Curry to create an audio Miami block party. Compared to the conceptual Ta1300, Curry’s Zuu, is easily digestible and much more unpolished to aid its raw spirit. The titular opener serves its purpose; an introduction to Curry’s hometown, before taking a dive into his upbringing on “Ricky”. There is substance and chronology, with songs matching up Curry’s memories of Carol City in linear fashion.
Stylistically, Zuu is very similar to Vince Staples’ FM, both in terms of production and structure. Abrasive beats govern Curry’s anecdotes on the likes of “Birdz” and closing track “P.A.T” that stay true to the rapper’s practice but boasts greater replay value than any competitors. These moments are contrasted with smoother cuts such as “Wish” and “Bushy B Interlude”, the former perfect for a summer barbecue.
Even the album skits add to the portrayal of Miami lifestyle. “Yoo” is a hilarious depiction of Miami lingo, while “Blackland 66.6” pays homage to Miami radio stations. Neither skit overstay their welcome, just like every other track on the album.
Its accessible sound and brevity means Zuu rivals Ta1300 in entertainment, and arguably as Denzel Curry’s best work to date. Zuu is a musical time capsule that thrives off simplicity and minimalism, yet still feels like the bridge towards something bigger and better.
Rating: 8 / 10
Favourite tracks: “Ricky”, “Zuu”, “Wish”, “Shake 88”, “P.A.T”, “Carolmart”