Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats — UNLOCKED — Album Review

Hip-Hop | Rap

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

The new collaboration of lyricist Hip-Hop lyricist Denzel Curry, and producer Kenny Beats, was cleverly teased as a “leaked album”, with an extensive music video/short film to accompany it.

Despite how well this album is promoted, all I needed to be sold on this one was the inclusion of Denzel Curry. Last year especially really brought forward his talent and versatility. Notable highlights for me were his fourth studio album ZUU, as well as his perfect collaboration with slowthai under the single “Psycho”.

And here in 2020, we have another collaboration involving Denzel Curry, this time with an equally versatile talent with Kenny Beats. As for how well I knew Kenny Beats going into this project, I didn’t have an awful lot of knowledge to go on. The exception to this was the hilarious crossover of Kenny Beats and Zack Fox with “Jesus Is The One (I Got Depression)”.

Despite this, I was still excited to have a more extensive experience of what Kenny Beats was musically capable of. And thankfully, after first listen, I felt that he was capable of a lot.

Before going into this, I felt a little indifferent towards the idea of Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats working together, and originally still felt that it could’ve gone one of two ways. Thankfully, the way it went was indeed the better way.

In my opinion, this duo work together just as well as the likes of Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. Kenny’s quirky and sample-abundant productions works incredibly well with the animated vocal style that Denzel Curry adopts. In-fact, his vocal style on this project even went as far as to remind me a little of DMX in parts.

The key element that makes this albums atmosphere really enjoyable for me is the overall quirkiness of it. The beats especially are as gritty and as colourful as the album art.

The reason I loved ZUU so much was because of how Summer-like it felt with its energy and vibe. Much of the same can be said about UNLOCKED, especially in the later half of the album, despite its time of release being far less in-tune with Summer itself.

In conclusion, UNLOCKED is yet another really enjoyable piece involving the talents of Denzel Curry, and it only furthers my faith that he will go down as one of the modern greats in the modern Hip-hop scene. It was also brilliant to have a true introduction to the versatility and top-notch quality of Kenny Beats’ production.

I imagine that when the Summer finally arrives, it will only further my enjoyment of this fantastic album.

Favourite Tracks: DIET_ | So.Incredible.pkg | ‘Cosmic’.m4a

Least Favourite Track: Lay_Up.m4a

PH Recordings | Loma Vista Recordings | Concord


My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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