2019, Music

ZUU (2019) by Denzel Curry

This is very catchy hip hop. From basically the first track, I was aware that this is catchy. To the extent that I can say that I have a “kind of hip hop” though, it is very much not my thing.

I should be clear that I think Curry is talented. In his verses, he seems like he’s got a fair amount of skill. To the extent that I can evaluate flow, it seems pretty good. And there were a few rhymes that surprised me, which is always a good thing.

But his choruses…They’re just big hooks a lot of the time. And I know that’s a lot of hip hop. But, to the extent that I appreciate/respect hip hop, it’s usually the stuff that manages to be a little creative, a little subversive, or what have you. So many of these tracks sound to me like they are built around the strength of the hook in the chorus, and that usually feels, to me, like southern hip hop/trap version of arena rock. They’re singalong. (That’s not true of every chorus, of course.)

Everything sounds very “trap” to the extent I know what trap is. I’ve never particularly liked trap though I will say this is far more melodic than the first trap I ever heard (which struck me as almost amelodic). I don’t know the conventions but I hear what I expected to hear. The production mostly doesn’t stand out as sounding creative or subversive. Maybe it is in comparison to some trap but not to most of the other hip hop I’ve admired in my life.

One thing I will give him is that he mostly goes low when he manipulates his voice, though the trend has been to speed it up and go high. So that is good! That’s one example of this recording bucking convention. (Of course there is a track where the voice is sped up, so…)

Anyway, this totally not my thing but I have no idea if it’s good or not. Maybe it’s better than plenty of trap/southern hip hop. It’s certainly catchy.


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