Zuu

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Zuu
Denzel Curry - Zuu.png
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 31, 2019
GenreHip hop
Length29:02
Label
Producer
Denzel Curry chronology
Ta13oo
(2018)
Zuu
(2019)
Unlocked
(2020)
Singles from Zuu
  1. "Ricky"
    Released: May 8, 2019
  2. "Speedboat"
    Released: May 21, 2019

Zuu (stylized in all caps) is the fourth studio album by American rapper Denzel Curry, released through PH Recordings and distributed by Loma Vista Recordings on May 31, 2019. The title is a nickname for his home city, Carol City, Miami, Florida.

Zuu is the follow-up to Curry's 2018 studio album Ta13oo. It was supported by two singles: "Ricky" and "Speedboat". The album received widespread acclaim from critics, with many praising Curry's tributes to other artists from Carol City.

Themes[edit]

Curry said that while his previous album Ta13oo (2018) was rooted in darker themes, Zuu came from homesickness for Miami. He explained: "it goes from the sounds of where I grew up, to what I was raised around, to the people I was raised around, to the sounds that pretty much shaped the person I am."[1]

Promotion[edit]

The first single, "Ricky", was released on May 8, 2019, for streaming and digital download, along with an accompanying music video.[2] The second single, "Speedboat", was released on May 21, for streaming and digital download after Curry teased it on social media.[3] Curry's television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, included a medley of "Ricky" and "Wish".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.6/10[5]
Metacritic85/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[7]
Clash8/10[8]
ConsequenceB[9]
Exclaim!8/10[10]
Highsnobiety4.5/5[11]
HipHopDX4.1/5[12]
NME4/5 stars[13]
Pitchfork8.3/10[14]
RapReviews7/10[15]
Spectrum Culture3.75/5 stars[16]

Zuu was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 85, based on eight reviews.[6] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 7.6 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[5]

Neil Z. Yeung of AllMusic saying "In less than a half hour, Curry establishes himself not only as one of the most capable and exciting artists of his generation, but also worthy of a place in Miami's rap pedigree, right alongside the local icons who inspired this gem".[7] Danny Schwartz of Highsnobiety said, "If TA1300 was a deep inward dive, ZUU is a mighty outward gesture, a salute to the masses".[11] In a positive review, Joey Chini of Exclaim! said of the album that, "Lyrically – despite sometimes perpetuating hip-hop clichés – Curry maintains his truthfulness and willingness to address the problems of the culture, all while playing with clever bars and meaningful sentiments".[10] Writing for Pitchfork, Sheldon Pearce ranked the album as "Best New Music" and praised the album as a tribute to Curry's hometown Carol City, calling it a "stunning Miami rap opus".[14] Christopher Theissen of Consequence praised the album's energy in a positive review, calling it a "well-crafted action film", but criticized the short track list, saying, "But in the context of a half-hour record, every lackluster step is amplified".[9] HipHopDX's critic Justin Ivey said, "ZUU is filled with entertaining records, but their relatively short runtimes often leave one yearning for more. This brevity is just minor quibble though when presented with rewind-worthy efforts such as "Ricky", a creation named after Curry's father".[12]

Kyann-Sian Williams of NME wrote, "The 24-year-old Floridian rapper combines dreamy, ethereal beats with hard-hitting sounds and rhymes to relay his unique – and compelling – life story".[13] Will Rosebury of Clash gave a positive review, stating "ZUU is an experience that transports the listener to a specific time and place. ZUU is further proof that Denzel Curry is one of hip-hop's most interesting and progressive MCs".[8] Steve "Flash" Juon from RapReviews stated, "Even though I said Curry raps more than his peers, I didn't say he NEVER sings. He flips back and forth between both on tracks like the Rugah Rajh produced "Speedboat", but the nice thing is that he's not so heavily medicated and AutoTuned that you can't follow along with his delivery".[15]

Rankings[edit]

Year-end lists for Zuu
Publication List Rank Ref.
AllMusic AllMusic Best of 2019 N/A
Clash Clash Albums of the Year 2019
27
Complex Best Albums of 2019
19
Consequence Top 50 Albums of 2019
34
Flood Magazine The Best Albums of 2019
8
NME The 50 Best Albums of 2019
35
Noisey The 100 Best Albums of 2019
4
Paste The 50 Best Albums of 2019
49
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2019
36
Stereogum Best Albums of 2019
18
Uproxx The Best Albums of 2019
14

Track listing[edit]

Credits were adapted from the album's liner notes and BMI.[28][29]

Zuu track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Zuu"
  • FnZ
  • Aguilar
  • Keanu Beats
2:06
2."Ricky"
FnZ2:27
3."Wish" (featuring Kiddo Marv)
3:12
4."Birdz" (featuring Rick Ross)
FnZ3:24
5."Automatic" (with Tay Keith)
Tay Keith3:02
6."Speedboat"
Rahj3:42
7."Bushy B Interlude"
  • Curry
  • DeBoni
  • Mule
  • Lavares Joseph
  • Darnell Matthew
  • Montrell Sneal
FnZ1:05
8."Yoo"Plus Pierre 1:04
9."Carolmart" (featuring Ice Billion Berg)
2:44
10."Shake 88" (featuring Sam Sneak)
  • Curry
  • DeBoni
  • Mule
  • Sam Sneak
  • Joseph
  • Joshua Goods
  • Samuel Saint-Jean
  • Clay Dixon
  • Bobby Ford
  • Cedric Woodside
FnZ2:27
11."Blackland 66.6"
  • Sneak
  • Reyshod Curry
  • Shane Starks
 0:49
12."P.A.T." (featuring PlayThatBoiZay)
3:00
Total length:29:02

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • "Speedboat" features additional vocals by J. Nick

Sample credits

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for Zuu
Chart (2019) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[30] 18
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[31] 38
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[32] 36
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[33] 29
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[34] 33
French Albums (SNEP)[35] 184
Irish Albums (IRMA)[36] 36
Lithuanian Albums (AGATA)[37] 9
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[38] 21
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[39] 27
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[40] 99
UK Albums (OCC)[41] 61
US Billboard 200[42] 32
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[43] 19

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thompson, Paul. "Denzel Curry channeled homesickness to make a Miami masterpiece". The Fader. Archived from the original on July 9, 2019. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  2. ^ D'Souza, Shaad (May 8, 2019). "Denzel Curry's new single 'RICKY' pays tribute to his father". The Fader. Archived from the original on May 29, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  3. ^ Espinoza, Joshua (May 21, 2019). "Denzel Curry Announces 'ZUU' Album, Drops New Single "Speedboat"". Complex. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b "ZUU by Denzel Curry reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Archived from the original on August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "ZUU by Denzel Curry Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Yeung, Neil Z. "Zuu – Denzel Curry". AllMusic. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Rosebury, Will (June 4, 2019). "Denzel Curry – ZUU". Clash. Archived from the original on June 29, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Thiessen, Christopher (June 3, 2019). "Denzel Curry Returns Home in Time for Summer on the Bittersweet ZUU". Consequence. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Chini, Joey (May 29, 2019). "Denzel Curry: ZUU". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on July 6, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Schwartz, Danny (May 31, 2019). "Denzel Curry's 'ZUU' Is a Stunningly Turnt Love Letter to Miami". Highsnobiety. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Ivey, Justin (June 25, 2019). "Review: Denzel Curry Embraces Miami To The Fullest On "ZUU"". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on June 30, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Williams, Kyann-Sian (June 4, 2019). "Denzel Curry – 'ZUU' review". NME. Archived from the original on November 28, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Pearce, Sheldon (June 4, 2019). "Denzel Curry: ZUU". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Juon, Steve "Flash" (June 4, 2019). "Denzel Curry :: ZUU". RapReviews. Archived from the original on December 25, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Stevens, Nathan (June 12, 2019). "Denzel Curry: ZUU". Spectrum Culture. Archived from the original on August 9, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  17. ^ "AllMusic Best of 2019". AllMusic. Archived from the original on December 6, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  18. ^ "Clash Albums of the Year 2019". Clash. December 18, 2019. Archived from the original on January 2, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  19. ^ "Best Albums of 2019: Top Music Albums of the Year". Complex. December 3, 2019. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  20. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2019". Consequence. December 2, 2019. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  21. ^ "The Best Albums of 2019". Flood Magazine. December 6, 2019. Archived from the original on December 20, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  22. ^ "The 50 best albums of 2019". NME. December 16, 2019. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  23. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of 2019". Noisey. December 12, 2019. Archived from the original on December 12, 2019. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  24. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2019". Paste. December 2, 2019. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  25. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2019". Pitchfork. December 10, 2019. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  26. ^ "Best Albums of 2019". Stereogum. December 3, 2019. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  27. ^ "The Best Albums of 2019; Ranked". Uproxx. December 2, 2019. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  28. ^ Zuu (Media notes). Denzel Curry. Loma Vista Recordings. 2019.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  29. ^ "BMI | Repertoire Search". BMI. Select "TITLE", type "Song" in the search engine, and click "Search". Archived from the original on April 6, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  30. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Denzel Curry – Zuu". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Denzel Curry – Zuu" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  32. ^ "Denzel Curry Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  33. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Denzel Curry – Zuu" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  34. ^ "Denzel Curry: Zuu" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  35. ^ "Lescharts.com – Denzel Curry – Zuu". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  36. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Denzel Curry". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  37. ^ "Savaitės klausomiausi (TOP 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. June 6, 2019. Archived from the original on December 3, 2019. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  38. ^ "Charts.nz – Denzel Curry – Zuu". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  39. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Denzel Curry – Zuu". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  40. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Denzel Curry – Zuu". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  41. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  42. ^ "Denzel Curry Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  43. ^ "Denzel Curry Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2019.