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Ranking Every Denzel Curry Album, From Worst to Best

In the world of hip-hop, where the equilibrium between raw talent and polished artistry defines legends, Denzel Curry stands as a testament to evolution in real-time. With a discography as dynamic as the Florida native’s ever-changing, ever-evolving flow, every album isn’t just a collection of tracks—it’s a chapter, a unique narrative unfolding the metamorphosis of a kid from Carol City into a force that’s redefining the landscapes of modern rap.

Albums like Nostalgic 64 unveil a young, unbridled Curry, fervent and impassioned, carving his initials into the game with a serrated edge. Then, the sonic and thematic leap to projects like Imperial and Ta13oo demonstrates not just a rapper refining his craft but an artist unveiling the multifaceted layers of his psyche. Every bar, every beat echoing the tumultuous yet triumphant journey through the internal and external combats defining his narrative.

Yet, it’s in the reflective pools of Zuu and Melt My Eyez See Your Future where the alchemy of Curry’s artistry is most palpable. These are not mere albums but artifacts of self-exploration, where the pulsating rhythms of Miami’s streets intertwine with the profound revelations of an artist transcending his predecessors, contemporaries, and even his former self.

So let’s get into it. From his 2013 debut, Nostalgic 64, to his 2022 magnum opus, Melt My Eyez See Your Future, we rank every Denzel Curry album, from worst to best.

6. Nostalgic 64

Released: September 3, 2013

Label: C9, L&E

Singles: “Threatz”, “Zone 3” • Features: J.K. the Reaper, Nell, Yung Simmie, Robb Bank$, Lil Ugly Mane, Mike G, Steven A. Clark

Dipping back to 2013, Denzel Curry stormed the gates of the hip-hop kingdom with Nostalgic 64. A young, unbridled force from Carol City, unleashing tales of life, losses, and the lyrical warfare of a kid destined for greatness. It was raw, maybe even to a fault. Every bar, every beat was like a page torn straight outta Curry’s life journal – a chronicle of a young soul navigating through the trenches. A powerful entry, no doubt, but when you stack it up against the evolution and the seismic waves that followed, Nostalgic 64 was the cocoon, not the butterfly. It was a prelude, the storm before the calm, an introduction before the magnum opus. Solid yet unrefined; a raw gem before the polish.

5. Unlocked

Released: February 7, 2020

Label: PH Recordings, Loma Vista

Singles: N/A • Features: N/A

Fast forward, and we hit Unlocked. Now this project? Straight fire. Denzel linked up with Kenny Beats, and together they forged an 8-track sonic grenade, blowing up boundaries and defying the norms. It was less about songs and more about a cohesive experience, an immersion into a universe where Curry’s rapid-fire verses met Kenny’s boom-bap-infused trap production. Tracks like “DIET_” and “Take_it_Back_v2” had that grit, that vintage hip-hop vibe, but with a 2020s spin. Yet, as hard as this project went, in the grand tapestry of Curry’s artistry, it was like a flashbang – explosive, momentary, and unforgettable, but still a prelude to the opuses in his arsenal. It showcased versatility, no doubt, but it was also Denzel flexing different muscles, experimenting, and reminding the game of his range. Dope, but there’s more heat up the ladder.

4. Ta13oo

Released: July 27, 2018

Label: PH, Loma Vista

Singles: “Sumo”, “Percs”, “Clout Cobain”, “Vengeance”, “Black Balloons” • Features: Twelve’len, GoldLink, Nyyjerya, JID, JPEGMafia, ZillaKami, Billie Eilish.

Enter the dark, twisted, yet profoundly artful universe of Ta13oo. Now, we’re delving into a Denzel Curry that’s more evolved, more attuned to the intricacies of his artistic expression. This ain’t just an album; it’s a triptych of emotion, a three-act drama that drags you through the murky waters of the human psyche. Curry’s pen game ascends on this one – it’s sharper, fiercer, yet more refined. Tracks like “BLACK BALLOONS” and “CLOUT COBAIN” ain’t just songs; they’re narratives, profound storytelling unfolding over sinister yet alluring beats. But, despite the lyrical and thematic depth of Ta13oo, it’s still caught in the shadows of the behemoths that top the list. It’s a stepping stone of brilliance, a testament to Curry’s evolution, but wait on it – the crescendo’s yet to come.

3. Imperial

Released: March 9, 2016

Label: PH, C9

Singles: “Knotty Head”, “ULT”, “Gook”, “Zenith” • Features: Rick Ross, Joey Bada$$, Twelve’len and Nell.

Imperial is that raw, unfiltered dose of Denzel, a project where every track, every bar, pulsates with the energy of an artist who’s not just on the come-up but is staking his claim, carving his name into the annals of the game. This album ain’t just a collection of songs; it’s a manifesto. It’s Denzel breaking chains and kicking down doors, asserting that he’s not just another name, but a force, a whirlwind of lyrical prowess. With joints like “ULT” and “Gook,” Curry was on a warpath, an unyielding offensive of potent bars and indomitable flows. Yet, in the grandeur of his discography, Imperial shines brightly but doesn’t eclipse the sun. It’s a monolith, but up ahead, the twin towers of Curry’s artistry stand tall.

2. Zuu

Released: May 31, 2019

Label: PH, Loma Vista

Singles: “Ricky”, “Speedboat” • Features: Kiddo Marv, Rick Ross, Ice Billion Berg, Sam Sneak, PlayThatBoiZay

Now we at the penultimate, the precursor to the crown jewel, and Zuu is that piece of work where Denzel wasn’t just speaking, he was preaching. This was a homage, an ode to Carol City – or as the locals call it, Zuu. Every track, from “RICKY” to “P.A.T.”, is a journey down the lanes of his roots, a sonic autobiography painting pictures of the concrete jungle where Curry was forged. The production is tight, the flows are impeccable, and the energy is off the charts. But it ain’t just about the bangers; there’s a soul in Zuu, a heartbeat that syncs with the pulse of the city. It’s top-tier, no doubt, a testament to Curry’s unyielding artistry. But as iconic as Zuu is, there’s still one more that towers, the magnum opus, the holy grail in the scripture of Curry.

1. Melt My Eyez See Your Future

Released: March 25, 2022

Label: PH, Loma Vista

Singles: “Walkin”, “Zatoichi”, “Troubles” • Features: Robert Glasper, Buzzy Lee, Saul Williams, Bridget Perez, T-Pain, 6lack, Rico Nasty, JID, Jasiah, 454, and Slowthai.

Curry steps into uncharted territories with Melt My Eyez See Your Future, an album that’s less about the showmanship and more about the soul-baring journey of an artist coming into his own. This is Curry like we’ve never seen before – reflective yet audacious, and intimate yet grand. It’s a captivating dance between the introspective artist and the unyielding performer. Tracks like “Walkin” and “Troubles” stand testament to this duality – they’re lyrical odysseys that strip back the layers, revealing a Curry who’s as vulnerable as he is fierce. This ain’t your typical banger album; it’s a sonic diary chronicling the transformation of a boy from Carol City into a renaissance figure in Southern hip-hop. With each track, Curry is not just rapping; he’s unraveling a narrative laced with self-discovery, triumph, and tribulation. 

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