Denzel Curry

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Denzel Curry
Curry in 2019
Curry in 2019
Background information
Birth nameDenzel Rae Don Curry
Also known as
  • Young Raven Miyagi
  • Zel
  • Ultimate Denzel Curry
  • Denny Cascade
  • Denzel Aquarius’killa Curry
  • Zeltron 6 Billion
  • Black Metal Terrorist
Born (1995-02-16) February 16, 1995 (age 26)
Carol City, Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • visual artist
Years active2011–present
Associated acts

Denzel Rae Don Curry (born February 16, 1995)[1] is an American rapper.[2] Born and raised in Carol City, Florida, Curry started rapping while in sixth grade and began working on his first mixtape in 2011. Influenced by underground Florida rapper SpaceGhostPurrp, the mixtape was later featured on Purrp's social media, giving Curry local attention and resulting in Curry joining Purrp's hip-hop collective, Raider Klan.

Curry left Raider Klan in 2013, releasing his debut studio album, Nostalgic 64, in September of that year, while still in high school. He has gone on to release four more projects, 32 Zel/Planet Shrooms on June 9, 2015, Imperial on March 9, 2016, and Ta13oo on July 27, 2018, which debuted at number 28 on the Billboard 200 chart. His fourth studio album, Zuu, was released on May 31, 2019, and a collaborative project with Kenny Beats, Unlocked, was released on February 7, 2020.[3] All of his projects have garnered significant acclaim.

Early life[edit]

Denzel Rae Don Curry was born on February 16, 1995, in Carol City, Florida. He is of Bahamian descent through both his mother and father. Curry started down an artist's path with early poetry ambitions in elementary school before he began rapping in the sixth grade. His time was spent at a local Boys & Girls Clubs of America chapter where he challenged others to rap battles. He attended Miami's Design and Architecture High School for two years before being expelled. Curry then attended Miami Carol City Senior High School, where he started working on Nostalgic 64 while still attending class.[4] In a 2018 interview with The Breakfast Club, Curry disclosed that he was molested by an unnamed older male during his childhood.[5]


2011–2012: Career beginnings[edit]

On September 24, 2011, Curry released his first mixtape, titled King Remembered Underground Tape 1991–1995. The whole project that Curry posted was later included on SpaceGhostPurrp's page, which prompted the birth of Denzel's music career. Following the release of Curry's first mixtape, Curry became a member of SpaceGhostPurrp's hip hop group, Raider Klan.[6][7]

In 2012, he released his second mixtape, titled King of the Mischievous South Vol. 1 Underground Tape 1996, which caught the attention of fellow American rapper Earl Sweatshirt and other members of the Odd Future label.[8]

Curry's third mixtape, titled Strictly for My R.V.I.D.X.R.S., was released after the death of Trayvon Martin, who also lived in Carol City and went to the same high school as Denzel Curry. His style of rap on this mixtape was inspired by Tupac Shakur.[8]

In late 2012, Curry met his manager Mark Maturah, and under his guidance, released his first studio single, "Dark & Violent", featuring J. K. The Reaper and Nell, to SoundCloud.

In 2021, a mixtape named "Curry Wuz Here" surfaced on YouTube, and the release date was claimed to be January 16, 2011.

2013–2014: Nostalgic 64[edit]

The group Raider Klan was disbanded, which led to Curry deciding to embark on his solo rap career.[9] On September 3, 2013, Curry released his debut full-length album, titled Nostalgic 64. The album features guest appearances from JK the Reaper, Lil Ugly Mane, Mike G, Nell, Robb Bank$, Stephen A. Clark, and Yung Simmie, among others.[10] In 2014, Curry was featured on Deniro Farrar's track, called "Bow Down" (included from Farrar's Rebirth EP)[11] and Curry was featured on Dillon Cooper's track, called "Eyes of the World" (included from Cooper's X:XX mixtape).[12]

2015–2016: 32 Zel/Planet Shrooms and Imperial[edit]

On June 9, 2015, Curry released his first double EP, 32 Zel/Planet Shrooms, which contained his breakout single "Ultimate". The song went viral, and was played over Bottle Flip videos among others. It has amassed over 100 million streams on Spotify and earned 30 million views on YouTube despite the lack of a music video. His first release in 2016 was the single "Flying Nimbus".

His second full-length album, titled Imperial, was released on March 9, 2016, then re-released later on Spotify as the deluxe version on October 14, 2016.[13]

In June 2016, Curry appeared in XXL magazine as part of their 2016 Freshmen Class. As part of this appearance, Curry performed a 'freshman cypher' alongside Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, and Kodak Black. As of March 2021, this cypher has received over 180 million YouTube views, by far the most for the XXL channel.[14]

2017–2018: 13 and Ta13oo[edit]

Curry in 2018

On May 13, 2017, Curry uploaded a track titled "Hate Government [demo]" to his SoundCloud account. In the weeks that followed, he released two more demos for songs titled "Equalizer [demo]" and "Zeltron 6 Billion" featuring Lil Ugly Mane. After these releases as well as a series of cryptic posts on social media (seemingly portraying another alter ego called Zeltron), he released an EP titled 13 on June 25, 2017.[15] All of the demo tracks were included on the EP as well as two other new songs. On August 18, 2017, Curry released another song called "Skywalker."[16] Later that year, on September 22, a remastered version of 32 Zel was released, including a remix of "Ultimate" featuring Juicy J.[17]

Since he started releasing demos for songs on 13, Curry made several mentions of his third studio album titled, Ta13oo. 13 serves as a sampler to Ta13oo, and no release date for the album was announced. On February 28, 2018, he appeared on the song "Kristi," by artist ASAP Ferg, which also featured IDK.[18] It was first performed live in Austin, TX on March 10, during their collaborative tour.[19] On March 16, 2018, he uploaded the song "Uh Huh," once again featuring IDK, onto his official YouTube channel.[20]

On April 2, 2018, Curry released the lead single off of Ta13oo titled "Sumo" on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show.[21] On May 24, 2018, Curry released the second single off the album titled, "Percs". Curry then released the third single titled, "Clout Cobain", on July 13, 2018, and announced that his album Ta13oo, would be released in three acts: The first act, Light, was released on July 25, followed by Gray on July 26, and Dark on July 27. Each previously-released single represents one of the album's acts, as "Sumo" represents Light, "Clout Cobain" represents Gray, and "Percs" represents Dark, which come together cohesively to form Ta13oo.

2019–present: Zuu, 13lood In + 13lood Out, and Unlocked[edit]

Curry performing in 2019

On February 14, 2019, Curry performed a cover of "Bulls on Parade" by Rage Against the Machine on the Australian radio station Triple J as part of Like a Version, which was met with widespread acclaim.[22] His cover went on to place 5th on that years Triple J Hottest 100 countdown.

On May 8, 2019, Curry released "Ricky", his first single since the release of Ta13oo. The song is titled after his father, whom the song is inspired by. On May 22, 2019, Curry released a second single title "Speedboat" and announced the release of his next album Zuu for May 31, 2019.[23]

On July 15, 2019, Curry made his television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, performing a medley of "Ricky" and "Wish" from his album Zuu. He also revealed that he had cut his signature dreadlocks.[24]

On January 6, 2020, Curry released a project titled 13lood 1n + 13lood Out, featuring fellow rappers Ghostemane, Xavier Wulf, ZillaKami and AK of The Underachievers. The project was initially announced in November 2018.[25]

On February 7, 2020, Curry released Unlocked, an EP collaboration with Kenny Beats. The release was accompanied with an animated short film.[26] In August 2020, Curry was featured on the soundtrack to the Madden NFL 21 game, on the song "Lemonade", with singer Yungblud.[27] In October 2020, Curry was featured on $NOT's track "Sangria".[28]

On March 5, 2021, Curry released Unlocked 1.5, a remix of his previous collaboration with Kenny Beats. The remix album features new production from Robert Glasper, The Alchemist, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Sango, Jay Versace, Godmode, and Charlie Heat, as well as new features from Smino, Joey Bada$$, and Benny the Butcher among others.[29]

In June 2021, Curry appeared on FX Network's "The Choe Show", alongside David Choe.[30]

Personal life[edit]

On March 4, 2014, Curry's brother Treon Johnson died as a result of complications of being tasered. Officers had responded to reports of Johnson beating two dogs with a metal pipe. The police employed pepper spray and ultimately tasered Treon before he could be successfully apprehended. Treon Johnson died after being transported to Hialeah Hospital. Curry has said that his brother died of an apparent cardiac arrest when he went into sepsis from a freak injury after being tasered.[31]

Until January 2017, Curry lived with XXXTentacion, Ronny J and other members of C9 in Miami. He has since lived in Los Angeles.

In January 2021, Curry found out that he is related to St. Louis rapper Smino through the discovery of a shared uncle.[32]



  1. ^ Marcus, Ezra (December 3, 2013). "We Talked to Denzel Curry About Nostalgia, the Zodiac, and Fiji Water". Vice. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Charles, Laurie (November 28, 2013). "Denzel Curry, Crown Prince of Rap". Miami New Times.
  3. ^ "Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats share new album Unlocked". The FADER. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  4. ^ Trotman, Shiyah (January 14, 2014). "Nostalgia: Denzel Curry Describes That Old Feeling". The Source. The Northstar Group. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM (October 9, 2018). "Denzel Curry Talks Relationship With XXXTentacion, New Album 'TA13OO' + More". YouTube. Archived from the original on October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Sherburne, Philip; Soderberg, Brandon (November 2013). "5 Best New Artists for November '13 – Denzel Curry". Spin. Archived from the original on April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  7. ^ Vogt, Nick (July 5, 2012). "King Of The Mischievous South: A Bloglin Interview w/ Denzel Curry". Mishka NYC. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Drake, David (April 5, 2014). "Who Is Denzel Curry? The Florida Rapper, More Than the Sum of His Influences, is Poised to Break Big". Complex. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  9. ^ Castro, Lee (September 6, 2013). "Denzel Curry on SpaceGhostPurrp and Raider Klan: "He Didn't Kick Me Out; I Chose to Leave"". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  10. ^ "Denzel Curry – Nostalgic 64". Archived from the original on October 27, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  11. ^ Soderberg, Brandon (May 15, 2014). "Stream Deniro Farrar's Confessional 'Rebirth' EP – Self-declared cult rapper's latest features Lunice and Denzel Curry". Spin. Archived from the original on April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Dillon Cooper – X:XX". HotNewHipHop. October 20, 2014. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  13. ^ "Denzel Curry Rereleases 'Imperial' With Two New Songs - XXL". Archived from the original on July 18, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  14. ^ "Kodak Black, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty & Denzel Curry's 2016 XXL Freshmen Cypher" – via
  15. ^ "Denzel Curry's '13' EP Now Available to Purchase - XXL". Archived from the original on June 25, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  16. ^ "Denzel Curry Shows His Range on New "Skywalker" Single". PigeonsandPlanes. Archived from the original on April 6, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "Denzel Curry Re-Releases '32 Zel' EP With Juicy J Collab - XXL". XXL Mag. Archived from the original on April 6, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  18. ^ "ASAP Ferg Teams With Denzel Curry and IDK on New Song "Kristi YamaGucci"". PigeonsandPlanes. Archived from the original on March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  19. ^ "Watch ASAP Ferg Bring Out Denzel Curry, IDK for Insane "Kristi YamaGucci" Performance". PigeonsandPlanes. Archived from the original on March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  20. ^ "Denzel Curry and IDK Tag Team Bruising Track "Uh Huh"". PigeonsandPlanes. Archived from the original on March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  21. ^ "Denzel Curry Sounds the Alarm With Booming New Track "Sumo"". PigeonsandPlanes. Archived from the original on April 6, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  22. ^ Langford, Jackson. "The Entire World Is Losing It Over Denzel Curry's Like A Version". Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  23. ^ Espinoza, Joshua. "Denzel Curry Announces 'ZUU' Album, Drops New Single "Speedboat"". Complex. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  24. ^ Breihan, Tom (July 16, 2019). "Watch Denzel Curry Make His TV Debut & Show Off His New Haircut On Fallon". Stereogum. Archived from the original on July 16, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  25. ^ Denzel Curry (January 8, 2020). "DENZEL CURRY - 13LOOD 1N + 13LOOD OUT MIXX (FT. GHOSTEMANE, ZILLAKAMI, XAVIER WULF, & AK)". YouTube. Archived from the original on January 7, 2020. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  26. ^ Strauss, Matthew (February 7, 2020). "Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats Drop New Album UNLOCKED". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on February 8, 2020. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  27. ^ "Madden NFL 21 Soundtrack". August 14, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020 – via EA Sports.
  28. ^ "$NOT Teams Up With Denzel Curry For New Single "Sangria"". HotNewHipHop. October 27, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  29. ^ "Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats Release 'Unlocked 1.5' Project f/ Benny the Butcher, Joey Badass, and More". Complex. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  30. ^ Starr, Michael (June 22, 2021). "'The Choe Show' on FX defies explanation". New York Post. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  31. ^ Bickham, Tamika (March 4, 2014). "Treon Johnson dies hours after being taken into custody". Local 10.
  32. ^ Williams, Aaron (January 15, 2021). "Denzel Curry And Smino Just Found Out They're Related". UPROXX. Retrieved January 15, 2021.

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