Denzel Curry has gone by many names in his career—Zel, Zeltron, Black Metal Terrorist. You’ve heard them all. Now he’s referring to himself unambiguously as something else: “the best rapper alive.”
In a new interview with XXL covering the release of Curry’s critically applauded LP Melt My Eyez See Your Future, the 27-year-old Florida MC got candid about how he sees himself, and dropped a major line right at the tail end of the conversation, seemingly conducted before the album’s release in March.
“Just look out for me,” he said when asked if he’d like to add any thoughts when the conversation concluded. “Look out for any of the next projects that’s ’bout to come out. I’m ’bout to shake the whole game up. I don’t care what anybody got to say, bro. I’m the best rapper alive. Point blank, period.”
Zel’s message to his fans comes during the same interview where he spoke on the changing landscape of hip-hop, and what that’s meant for him. As he explained, he watched the game go from “’90s stuff” in 2013 to where we see it today.
“Then everybody wanted to be trap,” Curry said. “Then everybody wanted to be sad. I’m watching all that stuff evolve over time. The way that hip-hop is going right now, it feels like a hybrid. But you gotta remember, hip-hop is always gonna change. That’s something I even had to realize doing it.”
While Denzel is proud of how far he’s come in his artistic evolution, he wrote on Twitter Sunday night—after Kendrick Lamar dropped his comeback single “The Heart Part 5”—that he’s hoping to step his game up.
“I just finished this new Kendrick Video,” he wrote. “Bruh…I gotta step my game up n****s is built different.”
He followed that up with a quick promise to fans that he’s feeling “super inspired.” Time will tell if Zel’s next project or the lasting impact of Melt My Eyez will propel him into best rapper alive contention—if he isn’t there already for listeners. One thing’s already for certain: Denzel Curry is sure of himself.