Denzel Curry sits on the couch with his friend Raul, who's in the middle of a sketch. Another friend, producer Ronny J, stands by the sink, just watching. A few seconds later, Curry reaches for an Xbox controller and scrolls through Netflix to pick The Truman Show.
It's been more than three months since the 18-year-old Curry graduated from Miami Carol City High School, the school he credits with helping him develop a style he describes as raw and ignorant but intellectual at the same time.
On "Zone 3" off his latest effort, Nostalgic 64, Curry raps: "It's real in the field/Either kill or be killed, like B.G./So I got a grip with the TEC/Took my nigga China Man/Took my nigga PJ and Trayvon/Goddamn, who's next?"
By now, Curry's MTV "Get in the Game" segment on RapFix for his "Threatz" video with Yung Simmie and Robb Bank$ has become something of a local legend.
It was the biggest day in the life of Denzel so far. And at the time, some schoolmates simply congratulated the rapper on his achievement. But others aggressively sought a feature from him.
"'Yo, nigga, let me get a track with you, son,'" the rapper says, doing his best imitation of the solicitors as he pounds his chest. "'Bruh! Bruh! Come on, fool. I got this shit on my heart, my nigga. My heart.'"
The exposure, Curry admits, opened a lot of ears to his music, which began filtering through his high school's chain of command, starting with those at the top.
"I gave it to the popular kids," he says. "I got their vote, and after the popular kids started liking my shit, everybody else is going to flock to it. It was like a system I had to work out."
But obviously, it wasn't just friends and acquaintances and schoolmates who became fans. Because less than a month after being seen on MTV, Curry took the stage at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, an opportunity brought to him by fellow Miami rapper SpaceGhostPurrp's manager, Kadafi.
The Coachella appearance, the rapper says, has led to the possibility of bigger shows after he proved to be a worthy performer in front of thousands.
"People was coming to see us, like, 'Y'all did Coachella?'" Curry boasts. "Then that just opened up on more broadband, because they'd be like, 'OK, that means we could probably give them bigger shows or some shit. Let's see what they could do with bigger shows and how would they rock it.'"
But as of late, Curry has found himself in a territory unknown to many artists who have garnered as much buzz as he has this year. He is currently unoccupied.
"If I was getting shit, like, where I could just go out of town more often, see different places, get better outlets and venues. and do more shows and whatnot, to be able to create stuff, then...," he says, shrugging.
But all of that should change with the release of his N64. With no street date set for most of the past year, Curry says he has experienced enough throughout the past several months and assembled all the right features, so he's ready to finally release it. One especially important feature was the addition of rapper Lil Ugly Mane and a verse on "Mystical Virus 3: The Scream."
In fact, the rapper's so excited about his collabo with Mane that he stops The Truman Show in search of a track called "Supa" on YouTube. As the song plays, he points out the production quality and marvels at Lil Ugly's lyricism.
"He's like a one-man squad," Curry says. "Plus, he does his own artwork, because he did artwork for me back in the day. That guy is just a triple threat. Producing, rapping, and creating your own shit. And you put your own videos out? Oh my God. That guy is raw."
The one artist who did not make a vocal or production feature, though, is SpaceGhostPurrp. Not because there is tension between the two; it just ended up coming out that way. In fact, according to Curry, the two never had a falling out, nor was he ever kicked out of Raider Klan.
Curry remembers being at the beach with his friend Raul when he received the news from his brother, Soulja Mook, that Ethelwulf, Scott Lexington, Eddie Baker, and Chris Travis were no longer part of Raider Klan.
After the news spilled onto Twitter and various sites, many thought Purrp kicked him out of the crew.
"Purrp hit me up. He didn't call me, he hit me up on Twitter, because everybody thought he kicked me out, and he didn't," Curry recalls. "I'm just addressing this now. He didn't kick me out. I chose to leave. But I wasn't going to let this rap shit or this contract shit come in between friends, because this is somebody who helped me out in the beginning."
Curry reaffirms that even though he chooses not to align himself with some, he has beef with nobody.
After a brief debate with another friend on whether Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z is a bitch (Curry makes the case that he is), the rapper continues where he left off with The Truman Show and reclines on the couch.
While many have high expectations for Curry and N64, his expectations are at zero.
"If you like it, you like it," he says. "If you don't, you don't. I don't give a damn."
-- Lee Castro
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