Denzel Curry
TA13OO


4.2
excellent

Review

by Jordan M. STAFF
July 31st, 2018 | 457 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Finish 'em Zel.

For all of the plaudits that followed Imperial-- deserved as they were-- it was easy to forgive and forget that, only 2 years ago, Denzel Curry’s fame was almost entirely thanks to a meme. Not that “Ultimate” itself was hard to forget, what with its relentless and aggravated flow of boasts and nerdish allusions; rather that its real impact and applications were silly for the sake of it. Of course, Curry could flow unlike anyone else, and he could articulate and enunciate with such clarity that each word of every bar was felt rather than heard, but he couldn’t escape just how ambiguously satirical his big, breakout hit sounded. Nor could he make much of an argument that his style wasn’t entirely reliant on a single dimension of insults and pop culture references, fantastic as they were. That singular style was expounded upon and intensified with Imperial, to an extent that was as immediate as it was also agitated and difficult to throttle. Moreover, it was a showcase for Curry to rap more forcefully, with more and more addictive one-liners than his predecessors, whilst implying that his character was only capable of this type of angry, 'banging' music. If his music didn't seem all too bothered to encompass how he actually felt, than the impetus for Ta13oo appears to be Curry's need to speak about his internal struggles of mind and character. That is, were it not for the album essentially being another incredibly forceful, brutish, and braggadocious display of modern rap on his part.

To be fair, Ta13oo appears in part to be an attempt at maturity. Unguarding itself with adult situations in the album’s first act, Curry deals extensively with his sexual shame as he experienced through child molestation. Ignoring the distracting features courtesy of GoldLink and Nyyjerya, and Denzel’s motif of innocence destroyed is glaringly ugly, comparing a childhood ended with Pennywise’s ominous balloons. It’s also less welcoming when you take into account that every other line references suicide, which, realistically, doesn’t lend itself well to hardened bangers. But then the act completes itself with “Sumo,” ostensibly a track meant for Ski Mask the Slump God’s pastiche, ersatz Busta Rhymes yammering, so that thematic intensity is relieved somewhat as the literal intensity is ramped up frantically. Consequently, the album’s second and third acts are fairly interchangeable, and are more or less Curry in his wheelhouse of aggro, swaggering non-sequiturs, divorced of any seriousness that might promise something broader in scope (save the melodramatic and maudlin "Clout Cobain"). Of course, because this is Denzel Curry, there’s not much to complain about, because the topics he distracts himself with-- politics on “Sirens,” modern rappers on “Percs”--are rapped about with such precise rigor and vigor that its pointless to bother complaining.

Even as he begins to disregard his desperate pleas that thrusted Ta13oo’s need to exist, he’s still churning out hit after hit. Realistically, Ta13oo is extremely satisfying from a consumption standpoint. It’s everything I’d want from a rap album this year. And really, that’s great-- brilliant, even-- but I think we should be concerned if Denzel’s need to exorcise his own demons appears at least somewhat eclipsed by his need to keep making excellent albums.




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user ratings (405)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aberf
July 30th 2018


2416 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This sounds more diverse than his previous albums, a notable improvement imo.

Digging: Sweet William & Jinmenusagi - la blanka

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2018


23717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ooh will read, agree hard with the 4.2 score tho

trilogique21
July 30th 2018


2077 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gud album

Digging: Horrendous - Idol

TheMrAlexK
July 30th 2018


10401 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i do not fuck with the percs, i barely fuck with the earth

RadicalEd
July 31st 2018


9392 Comments


Only heard Clout Cobain and that was awful and cringey as fuck. But I guess I'll check this out then. Solid Review.

Digging: Tim Hecker - Konoyo

808muzik
July 31st 2018


1119 Comments


clout cobain is fire

RadicalEd
July 31st 2018


9392 Comments


Clout cobain is denzel setting fire to his reputation

Trophycase
July 31st 2018


920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Whatever it is, great song

botb
July 31st 2018


11920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

>a rapper made a song I don’t like

>he SET FIRE TO HIS REP

Pheromone
July 31st 2018


6348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is a madness, keeps getting better.



SWITCH IT UP

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

RadicalEd
July 31st 2018


9392 Comments


Black Balloons is hella tight.

Illoomorpheme
July 31st 2018


336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is fantastic from start to finish. Amazing how Denzel can absolutely nail several so many different sounds within each third of the album, and do them so effortlessly.

MadKungFu
July 31st 2018


610 Comments


This doesn't read like a 4.2 review at all

anarchistfish
July 31st 2018


26689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"This sounds more diverse than his previous albums"



I disagree. This sounds like his most commercial album. Still some good songs but lacks the true brilliance of Imperial and 32 zel/shrooms the latter of which was surely more diverse and experimental.



I thought Imperial was gonna be his breakout album (was my aoty) but I guess it was a bit too heavy. Makes sense that this one would be marketed more. Imo Denzel truly shines on the heavy beats.

botb
July 31st 2018


11920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree that up until this album Denzel shines on the more aggressive songs but I’d argue he really came into his form on the more melodic side on this one more than he ever has.

DarkSideOfLucca
July 31st 2018


12563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

OooooOOOOoooooOOOoooo this looks interesting

Shredin0id
July 31st 2018


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listening to this now, I kinda want to 5 this. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this album (so far...)

JayEnder
July 31st 2018


2384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album bangs

DarkSideOfLucca
July 31st 2018


12563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Next up after I relisten to Automata straight through again (almost done with pt 1) - can't wait

P0laris
July 31st 2018


362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is easily gonna be one of the best hip hop albums of the year. Definitely the best trap album of the year, for sure.



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