Denzel Curry is one of hip-hop’s young rising stars. The Miami native has also been very prolific in just a few years. At just 22, Curry already has two full-length studio albums (2013’s Nostalgic 64 and 2016’s Imperial), four mixtapes, a double EP and a long list of guest appearances. It helps if you start young; Curry released his first mixtape when he was 16. After amassing a discography that some artists don’t have at 30, Curry was included in XXL's 2016 Freshman Class. As a relative newcomer, we thought it might be helpful to get to know the young rapper. Here are five things you didn’t know about Denzel Curry.
While Curry began writing poetry when he was in elementary school, he didn’t start translating that poetry into rap until he began attending a Boys & Girls Club in sixth grade. It was there Curry met a good friend named Premi. Curry has said that he and Premi would battle back and forth, honing their skills.
Curry posted his first mixtape, King Remembered Underground Tape 1991–1995, on the page of Miami rapper and producer SpaceGhostPurrp, whom Curry had been corresponding with. The attention helped to launch Curry’s career and SpaceGhostPurrp asked Curry to join his group Raider Klan.
Curry released his second mixtape, King of the Mischievous South Vol. 1 Underground Tape 1996, in 2012. This time the mixtape caught the attention of rapper Earl Sweatshirt and others in Tyler, The Creator’s hip-hop collective Odd Future. Earl gave Curry a shout-out on Twitter, further propelling the young rapper’s career and helped him to gain a following on the West Coast.
Both Curry and Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was slain by community watch coordinator George Zimmerman in 2012, attended Carol City High School. While they weren’t close, they had mutual friends and Curry has stated that Martin was a fan of his music.
After Martin’s death, Curry released his third mixtape. Strictly For My R.V.I.D.X.R.S. was Curry’s comment on Trayvon’s death as well as the other brutality and mistreatment Curry and his friends experienced. Curry has stated that Tupac’s Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.Z., where the late rapper spoke out about the 1991 killing of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins, also inspired the mixtape.