Denzel Curry: Imperial Review

By Kendra Sells
Music Journalist

Denzel Curry - ImperialArtist: Denzel Curry
Album: Imperial
Label: C9
Release Date: March 9, 2016

Curry is unapologetically aggressive. Imperial highlights what makes South Florida rapper Denzel Curry stand apart from many others in the rap game; he is intense, introspective and personal. “ULT” makes for an epic opening to his 10-track album with ethereal synths, sounding much like a call to attention for listeners. He then ceases the ominous ambiance with cut-throat triplet flows, breaking the ice and introducing the subject matters of his album: corruption, racial tensions, violence, and his desire to empower listeners to put an end to the madness. The album does tend to aimlessly dance around the same subject matters, while seldomly expressing completely developed thoughts on certain ones. Throughout the album, Curry is raw and tells it like it is. He reiterates how he will continue to be open and honest for as long as he lives.

“ULT” sets the tone for Imperial, literally. Curry’s flow is abrasive and in your face for the entire first half, eventually toning down sonically on “Story: No Title,” yet his message is still as hard hitting as ever. Curry does eventually turn down in “This Life,” one of the most chill songs on the album. It’s a sweet song reassuring his love for his special lady.

Curry invites big names Rick Ross and Joey BadA$$ for features on his album, hinting at a successful career ahead. Curry is only 21, yet exemplifies a good deal of maturity by revealing his deepest, most vulnerable thoughts, and well developed songs. Most of the production throughout the album is by FNZ and Ronny J.

His tour thus far has done well and for only his second album, Imperial is gaining great acclaim since his first release Nostalgia 64, which is also a killer project. Although it’s not flawless, Imperial shows that Curry is a serious player in the rap game and will continue to flourish lyrically and inspire listeners to be honest with themselves which will ultimately lead to a better world where we can all thrive side by side.

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