Denzel Curry, Crown Prince of Rap
At a time when most kids are scratching their heads, trying to figure out the next step after high school, Denzel Curry is dropping beats and recording albums. He recently landed on MTV.
The 18-year-old Carol City rapper says he was "shocked" to discover he would be featured on the "Get in the Game" segment of MTV's RapFix Live.
Just this past March, his video Threatz, featuring Yung Simmie and Robb Bank$, was featured on the television network, an experience the young lyrical master says was "one of the biggest moves in [his] career." Waka Flocka even offered to add a remix to the track. "I was like, 'Oh my God, for real? I actually got on MTV.'"
The appearance earned Curry a trip to California for a gig at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. But the biggest victory he garnered from all of the attention was local support. "It just showed how much hard work and dedication can get you," he says.
He adds, "Everybody in Carol City really supported my music. [In school] they would make a couple of jokes here and there and would even show the teachers [my music video]. Even after MTV, people were like, 'Yo, man, you're gonna make it,' and a lot of good shit. It wasn't niggas trynna be my best friend. They kept it real."
Fresh out of Miami Carol City Senior High, Curry dropped his first album, N64, in September. Now he's wrapping up the music vid for "Parents" and is working on a free mixtape, Planet Shrooms, that talks about "the raw, uncut South Florida shit from my point of view," he says.
A friend introduced Curry to rapping when he was 12 years old. Since then, it has been more of an escape than anything else. "Everybody has a choice, but if I didn't rap, I don't know what I would be doing. It's my world and keeps me from getting in trouble. [It] gave me something to talk about, inspiration.
"I'm living in the danger zone. I'm like a reporter reporting everything that's going down and talking to people going through it."
Curry doesn't know what to expect in the next five years, but he plans on pressing forward. "I don't know my destiny yet. Anything can happen. As of right now, I'm gonna shape my destiny."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.