Pros: Pure spitter, excellent live performer, already has cult following.
Cons: Lacks an easily accessible break-out song.
Okay fine, we totally slept on Denzel Curry and his excellent Nostalgic 64 project last year. In retrospect, it was one of the stronger projects of 2013, filled with genuine anger and angst about the perils of society (Curry went to the same high school as Trayvon Martin) and a surprising maturity urging for responsibility rather than giving in to nihilism.
Curry was originally in the Raider Klan (he left last year to start his own crew, C9) and like the Raiders, he’s used ‘90s rap influences to mold his style through his first three mixtapes. But on Nostalgic 64 his style began to crystallize. What makes it even better is Denzel’s a rapper’s rapper, just listen to how his flow weaves through Deniro Farrar's “Bow Down” when he rhymes, “From the planet of the nectar on the sea and the isles/Wanna see an angel dead? Let's walk a few miles/With a sword, halo, and a crown so round.” Oh, and if you ever get a chance to catch him live, get ready to mosh. —Insanul Ahmed