‘Raise the Bar’ is VIBE Hip-Hop Reporter Preezy Brown’s New Music Friday column. Each week he picks one Hip-Hop song or album that deserves your attention all weekend (but don’t worry, he’s also got a roundup of honorable mentions below).
It’s normal to become disillusioned or burned out with your craft, which is an experience rapper Denzel Curry recently went through, as he revealed his disenchantment with rap just last year. Now, the Florida lyricist seems to have cleared those mental and creative hurdles, as he makes his grand return with a new LP, Melt My Eyez See Your Future, his first solo project in nearly three years. This latest release captures him replenished artistically.
Running 14 tracks long, the album covers the gamut of Curry’s eclectic style, with terse lyrical exercises packaged in with occasional moments of unbridled rage. A wordsmith at heart, Curry lets it all spill out on the opener “Melt Session #1,” which finds him recounting the past few years in his life while allowing his train of thought to race off the rails. Produced by Robert Glasper, the song makes for a strong impression that’s upheld throughout the album, which includes numerous standout numbers that speak to Curry’s excellence. One of those tracks is the Buzzy Lee-assisted tune “John Wayne.”
“Nine on my hip, I’ma let that b*tch bang,” Denzel growls atop a backdrop courtesy of jpegmafia, as he stalks his neighborhood in the name of Ahmad Aubrey and others slain through racially-motivated violence.
On “Mental,” Curry is joined by Bridget Perez, whose buttery vocals perfectly compliment the track’s breezy sonics, and Saul Williams, who contributes his poetic commentary. Of all the collaborative efforts on Melt My Eyez See Your Future, “Ain’t No Way” is by far the most lively, as 6lack, Rico Nasty, JID, and Jasiah team up with Curry for a meeting of the minds that hits on all cylinders and ranks among the album’s strongest fare. Preceded by the singles “Zatoichi” featuring Slowthai and “Troubles” with T-Pain, Melt My Eyez See Your Future also captures its host in a solitary element, as tracks like “X Wing” and the album finale, “The Ills,” showcase Curry shining in a solo setting.
In addition to Melt My Eyez See Your Future, other notable rap releases that raised the bar this New Music Friday include albums from Trae Tha Truth (Life n Pain), Nigo (I Know NIGO!), The Cool Kids (Baby Oil Staircase / Chillout), JayDaYoungan (All Is Well EP), and Skippa Da Flippa (Forever Havin), as well as deluxe editions from Key Glock (Yellow Tape 2) and Smiley (Buy or Bye 2).
Listen to Denzel Curry Melt My Eyez See Your Future below.