Denzel Curry Descends Into Madness In "TA13OO"

It's always a treat to see a rapper try something different. That's what Denzel Curry does throughout his new record. His music has a conviction to it, unlike many of his fellow trap rappers hell bent on sex and money. Denzel Curry descends into madness in TA13OO, an angry and dynamic record that doesn't stray away from honest emotion and real strife.

TA13OO is separated into three sides, but no side feels truly different than the other - in a good way. They all seem to take a slightly different approach in their insanity to the same subject, showing a gradual but definite change. The record gets started off pretty cooly with title track 'TABOO,' the atmosphere and flow coming off smoothly, though the lyrics do reveal some grit: "I heard you were molested when you hit the age of five / So, in a sense I sensed that all your innocence had died," with the chorus chanting "All I've got is permanent scars and tattoos." 'BLACK BALLOONS,' featuring Twelve'len and GoldLink, follows with a similarly nice drive to it, and a pretty tame and catchy hook. It's at 'SUMO' where things began to change, Curry taking on a more aggressive attitude.

As TA13OO progresses, it seems to get more and more aggressive, as if Curry is getting more and more fed up with the people and hypocrisy around him. 'SUPER SAIYAN SUPERMAN' starts side two with a dope beat and great flow, before 'SWITCH IT UP' roars to life with an NF-type beat and a drilling flow. 'SIRENS' employs J.I.D. to support the encapsulating, brooding atmosphere for some visceral bars, 'CLOUT COBAIN' taking out the side on a calmer note, as if Curry is trying to compose himself before his mind takes him down a dark road. On the third side, however, it seems his descent into madness as a result of his surroundings takes a fast downward spiral 'BLACKEST BALLOON' kicks it off with a strong beat, 'PERCS' becoming wildly more vicious than previous tracks as it follows. JPEGMAFIA and ZillaKami add to the ferocity of the almost disorienting 'VENGEANCE,' before the schizophrenic hellscape of 'BLACK METAL TERRORIST' closes the record on a truly evil, tortured note.

Denzel Curry descends into madness in TA13OO, showing how his surroundings and those toxic people in his life pushed him over the edge and created a monster. It's such a dynamic and welcome change from the rest of pop hip-hop, showcasing both experimental hip-hop at an accessible level and Curry's ability to have pop appeal in such a conceptual record. It's a wild ride.


Least Favorite Track: CASH MANIAC

Rating: 81 / 100

Stream or buy TA13OO on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: