Denzel Curry — TA13OO Album Review
Denzel Curry’s highly anticipated third album “TABOO” — stylized as “TA13OO” is finally here.
The album is 13 tracks long , which consists of three different acts.
Total album length : 43 min
- Act: 1 The Light Part —( 13Mins Long)
- Act: 2 The Grey Part — (16Mins Long)
- Act: 3 The Dark Part — (12Mins Long)
Part 1: The Light Part
Last year On 25,June 2017 Denzel Decided to drop a 5 track long EP titled 13. Exactly 13 months later on July 25,2018 Curry dropped The first Part of the album : “TA13OO: Act 1" Which is the “light” side of the album, The total songs length of first act is 13 mins.
The theme of first act focuses on Wealth and concepts surrounding materialistic things.
TABOO | TA13OO
In the intro title track Denzel repeats the name “Denny cascade” couple times , which is one of his personas that debuted on his debut album “Nostalgic 64”. Followed by the chorus
“Welcome to the darkest side of Taboo, All I’ve got is permanent scars and tattoos”
which could be a metaphor for all the things he’s been through and how they’ve shaped him as a person.
Denzel could be personifying taboo and using it as a metaphor for taboo topics that are hard to and rarely talked about in society , or could also be interpreted as one of Denny cascades friends finding a hard time opening up and discussing what’s shes been through but Denny assures her that he’s there for her and will understand.
BLACK BALLOONS | 13LACK 13ALLOONZ
is a very melodic boom bap type of song similar to the previous song and the one that follows this which is “CAZH MAN1AC”.
Black Balloons features DC rapper GoldLink and Fellow Florida Artist and frequent collaborator Twelve’len.
Denzel references Stephen kings character Pennywise from his 1986 horror novel “It” this happens more than once throughout this particular song and the album in general. References to pennywise can also be found in how Denzel looks in the album cover , and a lot of other songs that I’ll get into in a while.
Most important lyrics to take notice of this song:
Hot pink, Valentine red , Black Balloons Over My Head.
What’s said from Pennywise, I guess we all float
I let it all sink to a thousand depths
Let it float, let it float, let it float…
Which are references to the “IT” movie and novel.
Soon black balloons pop, That’ll be the day the pain stops.
See the vibe very timid, I’m timid and very sad
Translated my thoughts and feelings I pivot into the pad
The black Balloons might represent his pain and suffering , he’s saying that he’ll eventually give up and end his life and that’s when the Black Balloons pop, which Spoiler Alert: happened at the end of the clout cobain music video , where he shot himself.
CASH MANIAC | CAZH MAN1AC
Cash maniac is a more light hearted and subjectively positive songs that features close friend and fellow Florida rapper Nyyjerya. As the title suggests Denzel raps about having big plans for the future and how he’ll achieve all his goals and how he’s on the top of his game…
Back in my palace, I’m fly like Aladdin. Serving my fans all my dope, cuz they addicts
He’s well aware of his skills and capabilities and he’s not afraid to admit it.
Some interesting lines from the song:
Haters mad cuz I’m on top like an attic
I like Black Beatles, but act like Black Sabbath, I smoke the O-Z when shit gets erratic.
That’s me at my lowest (Lois) , no Peter Griffin.
SUMO | ZUMO
Sumo is the first single released from the album it originally intended to have a Ski mask the slump god guest feature but according to denzel he didn’t deliver his verse in time so Denzel released the song without him.
A lot of first listeners who aren’t familiar with Denzel might’ve been surprised to see Denzel put three melodic songs at the start of the album and as soon as the smooth instrumentals and vocals on cash maniac are over, you’re Introduced into the aggressive energetic side of Denzel.
I think it serves as a perfect bridge between act 1 (as it fits the positive light subject matter , because he’s rapping about how fat his pockets are) and act 2 (because it’s more aggressive and hype)
Fave lines from the song:
Curry get the flame, call a nigga Prince Zuko
Pray for me to fall like Autumn
Chopper eat a nigga like Chowder , Rada-rada-rada-rada-rada
Bills on me blue, Sly Cooper
Money on my mind just like a tumor
Spread my money out and then I call that bitch a rumor
Part 2: The Grey Part
The second act of the album was released on the next day on the 26th of July, 2018.
This act is 16 mins long, it’s the longest out of the three acts , to emphasize on the fact that happiness and depression don’t last as much as having a balanced life andthat both depression and happiness are temporary.
SUPER SAIYAN SUPERMAN | ZUPER ZA1YAN ZUPERMAN
This is so far my fave and most enjoyable track on the album, the beat is great and Denzel flows flawlessly and really does a great job “at killing shit, on his navy seal shit”
Legendary shit, you on your secondary shit
This could be interpreted in two different ways.
He’s either saying :
He’s on a legendary status, while the one he’s directing this at (possibly his peers in the industry) are on their secondary shit and below his league.
He’s delivering legendary shit , and you (the listener) are on your secondary shit , hence this is the first song off of the second act of the album
SWITCH IT UP | ZW1TCH 1T UP
The second song of the second act is about Denzel dealing with the paranoia and trust issues of people switching sides and turning against him, and mental issues like bipolar disorder.
This song is on the grey part of the album , Denzel has addressed that each part represents his state of mind at the time.
A grey area represents balance and a combination of two different sides so in this case Denzel is showing signs of being bipolar as you can clearly tell by the title track and the chorus:
That nigga nice, that nigga mean, switch it up
Here he talks about his own friends switching sides:
One of my homies, he pull the gun on me ,
He turnin’ cold on me like meet the maker
So super phony as if he don’t know me I see what they told me about the hater
And I wasn’t even phased, been the hottest in the place
Talkin’ ‘bout a nigga changed with a pocket full of change
Another interesting line worth mentioning is :
Bitch, it’s a Miami nigga no Moonlight
Moonlight is a 3-time academy award winning movie that tells a story about a gay African American man that is separated in three parts – his childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. A similar concept to the way Denzel presented the album to us.
MAD I GOT IT | MAD 1 GOT 1T
In this song Denzel discuses the negatives and side effects of being in the limelight and being wealthy. How people will turn on him and pray for his downfall just because they wish to be in the same spot as him but can’t.
On the third verse the beat switches and Denzel flips the narrative , this time he raps from the perspective of someone who has nothing to lose and looks at the world in an envious pessimistic view because of how empty he feels.
Fav lines :
Even in the end you could never end me, Still in the hood and I still sip tea.
Talkin’ slick like it’s oil speakin’
Down to earth, ‘til my soil weaken.
Life not sweet like suit wit’ an E
Try to read me, would it be, Stephen King Big cheese only bring me Misery
SIRENS | Z1RENZ
Is a political song featuring 16 year old singer/song writer “Billie Eilish” & Xxl Freshman and Dreamville signee J.I.D.
Denzel admitted that he was so impressed by J.I.D’s verse that it made him work harder on the song and add a second verse.
The chorus is essentially aimed towards people who label them as activists for internet fame or having a better public image , but when it comes down to it and shit gets real , will you stand your ground or run to hide and let them down?
CLOUT COBAIN | CLOUT CO13A1N
The last song on the grey part , Denzel raps from the perspective of an industry puppet that is being controlled and treated like a slave by the labels they signed to, so they resort to heavy drug use to numb the pain and fill the void in their life.
This song was the last single released, Denzel announced the release date and track list for taboo with the release of the song’s music video.
The picture that Denzel is trying to paint in this song and the point he’s trying to get across might not be easily understood if you haven’t watched the music video , so to fully understand the meaning of the song it’s best to listen to it with the music video.
Part 3: The Dark Part
This is the third act of the album and the darkest of them , this is where Denzel is at his rock bottom and doesn’t care about anything or anyone , you could hear the anger and madness on every single here, especially on the last track Black Metal Terrorist.
This is the shortest part of the three (12 mins) Denzel says he wrote and made the songs of this act first , and originally he planned to make the whole album as dark and aggressive as the songs on here , but his manager advised him not to do.Then as time went on and he found better things to replace with his anger and found his peace of mind, he started working on the other parts based on his mental state at the time.
THE BLACKEST BALLON | THE 13LACKEZT 13ALLON
The first song off of the dark part , denzel could be saying he’s having suicidal thoughts and that he’s in a very dark place.
Feel like a horror movie, why my brother callin’ to me?
His brother Treon Lotto Johnson was a victim of police brutality that passed away on February 27, 2014. Denzel is saying he still feels the presence of his brother within him and it’s putting giving him horrifying thoughts.
On the second verse Denzel compares himself to the majority of clout chasing rappers that don’t put in much work into their work and glorify drugs , gun violence , etc..
Watchin’ me and watchin’ you is like some on demand shit , Niggas want the clout so they can buy a fuckin’ mansion.
On The next song which is Percs he addresses the same issues again.
Niggas on them percs and might just shoot a fucking campus
PERCS | PERCZ
This is the second single released before Clout Cobain , and after Sumo.
This song addresses the same topics and issues Denzel brought up on clout Cobain except more aggressively, if raising awareness didn’t work out to wake the people up and see what they’re doing wrong with their life , then maybe telling them the harsh truth more aggressively might work since that’s the sound that the mainstream is going for now.
Fave lyrics :
With these dumbass niggas, and they don’t say shit. Sound like “Durr, durr, durr”, you like “Oh, that’s lit”
I don’t even try to hate, I’m just saying what I ain’t , People sleeping on me hard and I’m the hardest in the paint
VENGEANCE FT. JPEG MAFIA & ZILLAKAMI
Honestly before I listened to this I had no idea what to expect from it , I’ve barely listened to zilla and jpeg Mafia. And I was surprised and impressed af by Zillas verse, it’s one of my fave verses on the album.
All of three artists on this songs absolutely murder it , literally. One of the hardest songs I’ve ever heard.
Fave lyrics from each verse:
I’m that nigga Freddy wouldn’t sleep on
I ain’t Drake, this ain’t 6ix, issa 9ine, sticky, blicky, iron
My presence alone can exterminate masses , The tongue speak spells, cause blazing rashes
BLACK METAL TERRORIST | 13 M T
Another song I’ve been waiting for ever since snippets of it surfaced on YouTube. This is the last track on the third act and the final track of the album.
This is where Denzel literally finishes everyone and everything in his way, it’s the darkest and most aggressive song of the whole album.
Denzel has mentioned and referred to himself as black metal terrorist a few times times before, one example is the first verse of ULT.
Black metal terrorist is also the name of the main character in the comic Denzel is currently working on.
Fave lyrics from each verse:
Laughing away ‘til I do something serious , Attitude only imperious, rest all my enemies like I’m insidious.
Dead ‘em, I do it professionally. Assassin’s Creed, your majesty, the after is not happily. Her body in factories, my ugly life tragedy.
I’m gonna live by my confidence, I’m gonna die by my arrogance
Heaven and hell is irrelevant, I be the black metal terrorist