Denzel Curry follows up on 2016’s Imperial and last year’s teaser EP 13 with what may be one of hip-hop’s best records this year, TA13OO. The album comprises of three acts which were each released a day apart, Act 1: Light, Act 2: Grey, and Act 3: Dark, which cover a variety of topics including his anxiety, battles with drug addiction, and deaths of close friends. The record starts off with “TABOO”, where Curry welcomes the listener to “the darker side of taboo” as he ventures through it, recounting facing difficult decisions in life, with the song itself specifically focusing on sexual abuse. The It-inspired highlight “BLACK BALLOONS” follows with a smooth, almost summery vibe, contrasting with his thoughts of pain and death.
On “SIRENS”, Curry brings indie-pop sensation Billie Eilish and 2018 XXL freshman JID together for a political track where he vents his frustrations and criticises the current state of America taking on issues of gun violence, police brutality and the media as well as the track title itself symbolising the justice system. On “CLOUT COBAIN”, Curry addresses how his contemporaries in the Soundcloud scene are obsessed with chasing “clout” or fame, with its music video showing common activities engaged in by these artists, depicting various individuals getting face tattoos and consuming copious amounts of lean and pills, as well as posting controversial clips on Instagram, and its consequential results.
The album escalates to its highest points with its last two tracks “VENGEANCE” and “BLACK METAL TERRORIST”, two raw, heavy hitting tracks which never let up, the former featuring experimental noise rapper JPEGMAFIA as well as trap-metaller Zillakami, with both showing how he has gone full circle, battled his demons and now has come out indestructible and fearless.
With this record, Curry’s fiery wordplay and extensive flows never seem to settle throughout, putting him on a different level to the majority of Soundcloud rappers, and solidifying his position as one of the most talented rappers of the internet age.