[8 October 2013]
Denzel Aquarius’ killa Curry, or Denzel Curry for short, is a rapper out of the Raider Klan that you may not have heard of. The exuberant MC has generated a little buzz for himself in the underground, with a few mixtapes and the free album, Strictly 4 My R.V.I.D.X.R.Z., to his name. Nostalgic 64 serves as Curry’s attempt to break out of the Raider Klan shadow and finally build up his own brand.
Curry’s style is dark, gritty, and nostalgic. Though it’s full of modern day influences, with elements of cloud rap and trap, Nostalgic 64 lives up to its name with references that reach back from Pokemon to Mortal Kombat, and the fittingly titled “Zone 3” which contains a gruesome reference to The Powerpuff Girls. Additionally, there are sprinkles of the Southern chopped & screwed scene, as well as a little bit of horrorcore. All of these combinations are what make Denzel Curry sound familiar, but at the same time not quite like anyone else.
The vibe of this album is guided by the production. Curry’s lyrics and subject matter don’t exactly match with the hauntingly dark beats, though it hardly detracts from the album’s direction. Curry is energetic, and sometimes ignorant, and this keeps the album from being boring. “Parents” and “Danny Cascade” display Denzel’s ability to make catchy songs in his dark, nostalgic style, and that’s when he shines.
Although he’s a solid rapper, Nostalgic 64 mostly rides on the shoulders of great production. The bassy beats fit like a glove with Denzel’s brash personality, but at the same time they tend to steal the show. While Curry is full of character, he’s not so unique that his shoes couldn’t be filled by someone else. His aim isn’t to be a super lyrical rapper, but at the same time that doesn’t mean he gets a pass for being subpar in that department. Curry does try to branch out and do some storytelling on a number of tracks, but once again he doesn’t really do a memorable job at it.
Nostalgic 64 is a fun ride. Denzel Curry as an MC doesn’t have a distinctive voice or flow, nor does he approach his songwriting with an abundance of creativity. With that being said, he has the vision to craft an entertaining album. His beat selection is unquestionably good. Nostalgic 64 is more cohesive than you would ever expect an album from an 18-year-old to sound. Denzel Curry is rough around the edges, but Nostalgic 64 showcases the raw talent of a budding rap star.