Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats - UNLOCKED
Feb 7, 2020 (updated Feb 8, 2020)
Has Kenny unlocked Denzel's full potential on this project ?

After a very enjoyable record, ZUU, released in May 2019, Denzel Curry is back, and in good company. After three intense days locked in a studio, Curry and Kenny Beats, definitely one of the best producers of modern rap, deliver the surprise album "Unlocked", a fucking perfect futuristic hardcore version of "Madvillainy"!

From the beginning, this short album reminds us of the mastapiece "Madvillainy", this is undeniable, and it seems that it was completely intentional: from the beginning of "track 01", we get a very MF Doom-esque intro with a spoken word sample and Denzel's pitched down voice. We can see that Denzel's aggressive signature style is back but now with vocal distortion on tracks like "Take it Back v2" which adds an extra level of vocal depth.

On the production side, "Unlocked" is clearly the best work Kenny Beats has ever produced. The instrumental keeps a coherent pattern of heavy aggressive-electronic-psychedelic and dark beats that make my head spin all the way through, mixing so many different genres, from retro-futuristic trap to a very clear influence of Boom Bap from hell, I would even say that there are hints of Memphis Rap here and there.

Really impressed by this release, I can't say there are any tracks I don't like but I really wish it was longer overall. But, maybe it's just a foretaste of what's going to happen? I would certainly be all for a longer and more focused collaboration project between the two guys, because as it stands, it's just masterful.


Best tracks: "Take_it_Back_v2", "Lay_Up.m4a", "Pyro (Leak 2019)", "DIET_", "So.Incredible.pkg", '"Cosmic'.m4a".

Worst track: "Track 01"
WhatTheFunk's Tags
Feb 9, 2020
Please elaborate on the Madvillainy and Unlocked comparison, literally the only elements the both of them share could be the structure of the songs, and how the runtime of each of the tracks are under 3 minutes. But other than that, I don't see the similarities, these are very different albums. Please elaborate.
Feb 9, 2020
@KIDWITHGUNs This comparison was not totally serious, it is obvious that if a producer and a rapper gell well together on a project, it doesn't mean Madvillainy. But although the two albums are sonically radically different, there are some remarkable links: the first song on both Unlocked and Madvillainy build up the rapper as being evil, the Madvillainy one as the greatest villain and Unlocked as mentally deranged. Both album covers have a super villain feel. There's vocal samples throughout emphasizing how mentally deranged Denzel is, similar to what is done in Madvillainy. Finally, it's true that the comparison is not obvious but it's sure that Kenny and Zel were inspired (a little bit) by DOOM on this project (pitched vocals, approached themes, dark atmosphere).
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