For the cover of NR 18, I spoke with rapper Denzel Curry. “When some people hear the name Denzel Curry, they think of the explosive chorus of his high-octane hit “Ultimate.” Others may think of his viral music video for ‘Ricky’––which recreates the backyard brawls Curry attended in his hometown of Miami––or the fact that he toured with superstar Billie Eilish, who has proclaimed Curry to be one of her favorite artists. The rapid conclusion that can be drawn from his flashiest achievements––that Denzel Curry is a great rapper––pales in comparison to the one drawn by those who have dug deeper into his complete body of work. When you truly connect the dots of his career, you are confronted with a portrait of an artist who has made a truly massive contribution to the development of hip hop in the past decade.
Curry, who began writing rhymes as a child, was still in high school when he became a part of SpaceGhostPurrp’s infamous collective, Raider Klan (stylized RVIDXR KLVN), whose gritty sound, gothic aesthetic and hieroglyphic style of writing influenced an entire generation of rappers and headlining acts. Curry was also a member of the creative cosmos who helped establish both Soundcloud and South Florida as one of the most exciting breeding grounds of underground and experimental rap in the 2010s. He helped transform a digital platform into one of the most consequential genres of its time: Soundcloud rap.”
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