‘Melt My Eyez See Your Future‘: Denzel Curry’s personal exodus
Ayden Kowalski | Tuesday, April 5, 2022
“An epic battle where evil and the will to evolve is what I’m involved in,” our narrator declares over chugging drums and a dirty bass while sublime, liquid keys drip through the right side of the stereo. This moment exemplifies the experience of Denzel Curry’s new album “Melt My Eyez See Your Future,” a confident and distinct work blending nostalgic and futuristic production elements into a surreal soundscape over which Curry performs his own exorcisms in verse. Or, as he says it at the album’s conclusion, “I’m seein’ illusions in the pockets of my brain / I use it, then find a way to illustrate my pain.”
The beats that compose Curry’s album all possess richness and beauty, whether in the boom-bap drums punctuating the ambience of sweeping female vocals that start the standout track “Walkin” or in the horn that sounds like a warning for a Tusken raider attack that precedes the beat drop on “Sanjuro.” The best tracks on the album suspend listeners in the production, pulling them into the green ether on the album’s cover. The human voice is a constant presence within the instrumentals, usually whirling in the soundscape and lifting the listeners up to this ether. Yet the voices do not subtract from the lonely, interior journeys on which Curry embarks in his verses.
Curry’s extraordinary rapping abilities are undoubtedly the main draw of the album. Handling both boom-bap and trap beats with ease, most of the album uses narrative voice to reflect on himself and the trauma that shaped him, launching at his demons from various compelling angles. He has the candor and humility to confess “I spent my whole life lookin’ for validation / In today’s age, it would’ve led to my cancellation” on “Angelz” and the mastery of metaphor to cast himself as “Strung out on love addiction and groupies when souls collide” while expressing his guilt for his treatment of women on the fantastic opening track “Melt Session #1.” His admissions and contempt for the eternal judgment of cancel culture converge at the true thesis of the album: “I’m killin’ off my demons ‘cause my soul’s worth redeemin’.” By listening to his story, the listener can believe this for themselves too.
It is to this end of salvation that Curry’s narrator grapples with the generations-old chains of racism in America, the poverty from which he rose and the specter of mortality surrounding him from memories of violence and the tragic deaths of performers he notes throughout the album. There is audible pain in his voice as he lists a few great rappers who died young on “X-Wing.”
“Melt My Eyez” is a personal exodus for the narrator as he progresses from darkness towards some unclear light. Curry’s genius is that he focuses on the travails of the desert of life, recognizing that this will lead to peace somehow. When he uses a burning bush to symbolize the spark of the divine inside of his mind — and also to boast about his evidently superb MC abilities — he highlights that this album is his expression of that human quest for true completeness. The production melts us so we can dwell with him in his pain, and as we process the suffering of the world, we can progress to something better, whatever that may be.
Album: “Melt My Eyez See Your Future”
Artist: Denzel Curry
Label: PH Recordings
Favorite tracks: “Melt Session #1,” “Walkin”
If you like: Underground hip-hop
Shamrocks: 4 out of 5