Denzel Curry Interview: ‘When no one is telling you who you are, who are you?’

Photos by Saint / OGM Creative Director

Denzel Curry seemingly called his shot ahead of his fifth studio album, Melt My Eyez, See Your Future.

Back in December, OGM host Hakeem Rowe caught up with Zel, as well as JID and Joey Bada$$, manifesting that Melt My Eyez would be the unforgettable magnum opus he set out to create. “I told you.” he proclaimed in our latest exclusive. “I don’t know what it is with people, but no one wants to believe me [about my albums]. And when it finally comes out, people are like ‘oh, this album IS good.’”

With a refined vision and forward-thinking ear, the 27-year-old Floridian’s new effort sees him looking inward more than ever before. While comparably experimental to his revered 2018 album TA13OO — which is perhaps the most lyrically impressive of his catalog — Melt My Eyez is an intrinsic look into Curry’s perception of himself, boosting him atop the conversation when discussing the genre’s most talented artists.

However, Denzel didn’t get here in one day — trying for years to cultivate the sound found on Melt My Eyez. Attempting to “make sense” of each of the songs he was curating for the record, dating back to his time working with Kenny Beats on UNLOCKED (2020), Zel contributed Melt’s focus and fourth-wall tearing narrative to quarantine, martial arts and meditation — seeing him breaking down the man in the mirror only to build him back up.

“This album was supposed to come out right after ‘TA1300,’ and I planned this album like three times. But the moment the world shut down, I realized, when no one is telling you who you are, who are you?” he said. “When it came down to it, my cousin asked me ‘if quarantine never happened, would you have made ‘Melt’ today?’ And to be honest, I was like ‘nah.’ I wasn’t even thinking. It would’ve just been another title, a nameless album and it would’ve just been another project I thought about creating.”

On Melt My Eyez, each track cascades into one another seamlessly — positioning Denzel at the center of his universe striving to find inner peace. With that in mind, peace isn’t found without pain, as the Florida wordsmith speaks on suicidal thoughts, leaving his “demons on front street” and the impact therapy had on him to convey his “emotions” over his thoughts. He even divulged that he would journal his therapy sessions for inspiration — uncovering who he really is at his core and not who he is perceived to be.

“When I was really looking into myself and going to therapy, women has always been my vice. That was my main thing I was trying to slow down on — we all got vices and most people are afraid to admit they’re an addict, everyone’s addicted to something. So I was taking those therapy sessions and writing them down when I was making the album. [Melt My Eyez] wasn’t about thinking, it’s about feelings. I wanted to explore all the emotions I was actually having.”

Denzel Curry on ‘Melt My Eyez’

Immersively expressive and thoroughly cohesive, highlights in “Melt Session #1,” “Ain’t No Way” featuring Rico Nasty, JID, 6lack and Jasiah, “X-Wing” and “Sanjuro” with Frank Ocean co-sign 454 are not only astonishing cuts, but awe-inspiring in how Zel shape shifts into a new sound — continuing to showcase his ability to innovate with sample heavy instrumentation, multiple beat switch-ups and differing energies throughout the LP. Versatile, soul-opening and contemplative through and through, the album is a therapeutic assessment of Zel’s vices — creating time for him to be on the outside looking in.

“For me to get this deep, it took [time] and a lot more experiences I had to go through — lots of things I had to see from within. Things that I couldn’t see on tour, being with girls, being with the in-crowd or whatever. When I made this album, I was going through all the things that was not me, and [instead was] writing who I actually was.”

As Curry’s intimate new offering continues to “melt eyes” everywhere, he sat down with OGM host Hakeem Rowe to discuss his new album, mental health, T-Pain, growth and so much more in our latest Our Generation Music exclusive interview.

Watch Denzel Curry’s OGM exclusive below!

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