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  • Fred Smith

Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats - Unlocked

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

UNLOCKED is Floridian rapper Denzel Curry’s fifth album. Released February 7, 2020 in a YouTube short film in which he and producer Kenny Beats go on a cartoon journey to reclaim the albums ‘leaked’ songs. The album marked the second collaboration between Denzel and Kenny, the first coming on Denzel’s 2019 record, ZUU. The album was recorded over a 72-hour period meaning there was a lot of freestyling from Denzel who stated that a freestyle video of Freddie Gibbs on Kenny Beats’ show was what prompted the start of the album.

Track 01 – The opening track is mostly spoken with the only verse sampled from the fourth track on the album ‘Pyro (leak 2019)’. Spoken words sampled from 1953 film used to educate parents on natural behaviour of teenagers.

Take_it_Back_v2 – On this track Denzel utilizes his classic, aggressive flow over a hard Kenny beat. The second verse is pitched down for a menacing effect. The track seems mostly freestyled leading to a many different points from a content point of view but in the chorus, Denzel raps about making money from music and the taking back of civil rights, using the example of Rosa Parks.

Lay_Up.m4a – Darker, flatter rapping over another good beat. Again, it’s likely freestyled leading to many different points some including fame and money.

Pyro (leak 2019) – This track lasts just over a minute which is its only real issue. Aggressive Denzel flow over a grimier Kenny beat is a relatively safe road to go down as Denzel asserts his dominance over other rappers.

DIET_ - Starts with more dark and flat rapping but grows more aggressive as the track progresses. Really shows what Denzel and Kenny can do on a longer track with a more traditional structure. Great song all around.

So.Incredible.pkg – Groovier Kenny beat over a more classic Denzel flow. Similar to the previous track in terms of structure as Denzel asserts dominance over other rappers, but in a much better way than Pyro.

Track07 – Interlude track which is just the previous song sampled over a different beat. I like the beat but the whole track just seems unnecessary and the time could’ve been used better, almost feels lazy.

‘Cosmic”.m4a – Back to a harder, grimier beat from Kenny. Very good verses from Denzel with his aggressive flow.

Overall thoughts – This album is very good, not the best from Denzel, mostly due to the time limits he and Kenny gave themselves. Kenny’s production was effectively flawless, and Denzel’s rapping matched the quality. The lack of overall point is made up for by the rhymes that Denzel comes out with. It feels like if there is any point, it’s just to be weird which is shown with the clever variations in pitch throughout the album, making Denzel sound crazy at points with higher pitch and more menacing at points with lower pitch. My main problem is the length. Coming to just over 17 minutes, it leaves me wanting more, especially after hearing the songs with a more traditional structure such as ‘DIET_’ and ‘’Cosmic”.m4a’. It feels like if they gave themselves more time, they could’ve come out with a great album which was an opportunity missed. This is especially shown when they sample other songs from the album which just seems pointless.

Favourite Track – ‘Cosmic’.m4a

Great Tracks – DIET_, So.Incredible.pkg

Good Tracks – Track 01, Take_it_Back_v2

OK Tracks – Pyro (leak 2019), Lay_Up.m4a

Least Favourite Track – Track07

Rating – 7.7

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