Denzel Curry electrifies at the Agora on the “MELT MY EYEZ TOUR”


Courtesy of Patrick Alcala / HoustonPress

Denzel Curry, who has been participating in rap battles since he was a teen, has released five studio albums throughout his career and now has nearly 7 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Sara Khorshidi & Mulan Ma, Director of Print, Engagement Editor

On Sept. 30, Denzel Curry blessed the citizens of northeast Ohio with a stop in Cleveland, part of his world tour promoting the release of his fifth and most recent studio album, “Melt My Eyez See Your Future.” This is the first time Curry has performed in Cleveland as the main headliner on a tour, so this came as an extra special surprise to us.

Denzel Curry, a rapper based out of Carol City, Florida, has been active in the rap game for over 11 years. He’s gained a reputation for his gravelly, aggressive, trap-influenced rap style, as well as his dynamic and flawless flow and thought-provoking narrative lyricism. Curry didn’t gain much popularity until he went viral on Vine in early 2016 with his breakout hit, “Ultimate.” From there, he released his second studio album, “Imperial.” He was subsequently featured on the cover of XXL as a member of arguably the best “Freshman Class” list—and “Freshman Cypher” freestyle rap—that XXL has ever seen. 

His music is so uniquely his own—a fact that’s extremely apparent in his new album “Melt My Eyez See Your Future,” which features a calmer and more mature side of Denzel. While his lyricism and versatility as an artist has helped him create a wide range of albums that focus on the injustices of the world at large, his newest album serves more as an introspective piece. Curry has described the album as having “No alter egos, no nothing. Just Denzel Curry.” In this project he aims to branch beyond his comfort zone—to not just make something he knows will sell—and he certainly impresses.

Flash forward to the much-anticipated day of the show: We were standing in line outside The Agora Theatre and Ballroom to not only see the man Denzel himself, but his entire show’s lineup: Redveil, AG Club and PlayThatBoiZay, who had all come to Cleveland to get old and new fans alike hyped.

The air was electric as each new performer got on stage, each with their own dynamic flair for the dramatics—throwing themselves into the pit and getting people to scream at the highest decibel they could manage. Shoes were lost and phones were thrown before Curry had even come on stage. After each performance, each musician was met with roaring applause. However, when the neon green lights and angelic female vocals for the beginning of “Melt Session #1” came on, we knew the night had come to its zenith. We were immediately starstruck at the very sight of the man himself: The man behind the masterpieces that we had adored for years was standing right in front of us, performing just for us. With his masterful way of combining words with unique beats, Denzel’s stage presence commanded everyone to jump and recite the lines to his beloved and outstanding discography. Between sets, Curry related to the crowd that he had endured a hellish experience with U.S. Customs trying to get back into the country after performing in Toronto two days prior, and that he had only slept three hours the night before. “But you know, I’m here, I made it on the stage,” Curry reassured. “Y’all givin me a good motherfuckin’ vibe, so I’m finna give y’all a great ass show.” Invigorated with the news that we were just the pick-me-up he needed, the crowd cheered even louder.

Playing the new tracks and some of his oldies but goodies, we all came together to enjoy the raucous angry noise of “Black Balloons,” the classic and deservingly overplayed “RICKY,” “Ultimate,” “SPEEDBOAT” and the recent headbanger “Ain’t No Way.” After finishing out with the classic “CLOUT COBAIN” and the new album’s final track, “The Ills,” Curry returned for an energy-filled encore with “ULT.” The show was exhilarating, but as a result the night seemed like it ended far too soon.

From his time in the underground rap scene to his current status as a mainstream artist working with T-Pain and other underdogs like Rico Nasty, we have adored Denzel Curry’s music. His journey and evolution as a rapper have earned him a place in the music industry since his first album, 2013’s “Nostalgic 64”—and with the show he put out this September, he won’t be leaving anytime soon.