Denzel Curry’s “Melt My Eyez See Your Future” Only Adds to His Already Fantastic Discography

The most recent project from hip-hop artist Denzel Curry is an introspective and engaging commentary on both himself and the world around him.

The album cover for Melt My Eyez See Your Future by Denzel Curry.

Melt My Eyez See Your Future is the fourth full-length album by rapper Denzel Curry. Denzel, who’s continued to see critical and commercial success, has an incredible list of records under his belt, with his biggest strength proving to be his extremely consistent quality. With a massively successful 2018 record, TA13OO, as well as three years since his last album, there was really no telling where we might see Denzel going from here. 


Despite the massive length of time in between projects, it seems as though this new LP lives up to the expectations set by his previous material. On …See Your Future, Denzel sees himself upping the psychedelic and crisp atmosphere of projects like TA13OO, only with even higher levels of introspection and commentary over himself, those around him, and the world as a whole. The opening track, “Melt Session #1,” sets up his commentary throughout the rest of the album, acting almost like a thesis statement of sorts. Explaining the title of the record, he delivers the line “Being aware is my definition of melt; My eyes see imperfections within myself,” which displays his ideology that, if somebody can make themselves aware of their mentality, they can then use that to predict their own actions, or “see their future.”


We also see Denzel continuously referencing and giving his personal experience with religion throughout this record, something that also gets set up on this first track. For example, Denzel directly references David vs. Goliath, using the story to give vivid imagery around his stress and depressive mental states; “…battling stress the size of Goliath; slingshots plus hard rocks, these stones getting thrown.”


On top of these themes being clearly presented here, the sound of this song also sets the tone beautifully. Opening with stunning vocals, smooth and R&B influenced keys, as well as drums that Denzel flows over with a stunning amount of energy, the production on this track keeps up the pace for the entire song, setting the listener up for the rest of the album. 


Using this song as a way to seamlessly transition into the second track, and first single for the record, “Walkin’,” Denzel gives the first incredibly hard-hitting track of the album. Starting with vocal patterns similar to the first track, which stay present throughout most of the song, Denzel gives dialogue and commentary over the state of the world itself. Starting with a west coast hip-hop inspired flow, and a beat that feels slightly behind the tempo, the song soon switches into an entirely different beat, introducing heavy bass and a hook that’s so catchy and well executed it’s practically unforgettable. 


Denzel continues even more of this dialogue and criticism of the world on songs like “The Last;” a song that definitely has its flaws, but has them overridden by fantastic execution. The chorus of the song, which is a bit over-the-top with its length, for example, still is fantastically delivered with a highly unique vocal style, which keeps these points of the song interesting, regardless. The only genuine problem with this track actually lies in the verses of the song, where, lyrically, Denzel seems to be point-blank listing off problems he views in the world. Though this has been a theme for the entire record, his delivery here, as well as his lack of creativity with how he phrases these lyrics, can make his phrasing come off in a way that doesn’t add any sort of commentary or unique take on these issues, which can make it feel pointless. In spite of those issues, though, the instrumental does improve the atmosphere of this track in a masterful way, with soft, airy chords building up a fantastic, slow, and highly futuristic sound. It does a great job of worldbuilding for the track, establishing a sound that feels like it’d fit in an almost dystopian setting, similar to what Denzel describes in his lyrics. 


The incredible use of pacing on … See Your Future is easily one of its biggest strong points, which continues as the album keeps up a slow, R&B tone on the following track, “Mental (ft. Saul Williams & Bridget Perez).” The hook on this track, despite only being a single line being repeated, is executed perfectly by Perez, who’s soft vocals perfectly contradict from Denzel’s verse. The track also has one of the best outros of any song on this album, where Saul has a verse that reads almost like a spoken word section, which, as with the previous track, does a fantastic job of worldbuilding and giving a very specific setting for the rest of the album. Even if the performance isn’t anything memorable because of flow or delivery, he adds a layer of context that is not only necessary, but is more than welcome. 


Despite many of the tracks here focusing heavily on their soft tone and emphasis on melody, this record takes up many other styles and genre influences to switch the energy. Songs like “Sanjuro (ft. 454),” for example, utilize trap elements to give heavy and abrasive contrasts to other songs on the album. The most interesting and unique instance of this, though, has to be “X-Wing,” where there is a highly ambitious blend of orchestral strings and trap drums. As terrible of a blend as this sounds on paper, though, it’s done about as good as it possibly could have, and blurs the line between the softer tracks on this album and its more high-paced ones. 


On top of this, Denzel also isn’t afraid to take some tracks in a more pop-oriented direction. “Troubles (ft. T-Pain),” for example, is genuinely the best instance of this. The instrumental here feels like a less lo-fi take on something Joji might have had on Ballads 1 or Nectar. On top of this, T-Pain is a fantastic feature to have here, as he’s able to perfectly add to the energy of this song. The only problem some may have with this is the vocal effect they use on the chorus, which sounds almost robotic. Despite this, though, I thought that it added another texture to the song, and serves almost as the cherry-on-top to the rest of the song. 


Even though this record does mostly land, it does have a few songs that don’t land as well as they intend. The biggest problem is that, with this record having multiple songs with their own style, it can fall victim to having songs that aren’t executed as well as others that accomplish the same goal. The end result is that a couple tracks here feel redundant in the context of the rest of the album, even if they do keep the atmosphere going. “John Wayne (ft. Buzzy Lee)” feels like it’s doing something similar to “Walkin,” just without switches or as much of an emphasis on being memorable. Additionally, “Angelz (ft. Karriem Riggins)” feels like it’s doing something similar to “Mental,” just not quite as engaging. 


In fact, this record is at its absolute best when it has a fully unique idea that’s specific to a single song. With this, it allows those songs to stand out far more in the tracklist. Songs like “The Smell Of Death,” which has a very sweet, upbeat and fast sound, feels like a blend between something that would have been on Tyler, the Creator’s IGOR and Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”. It packs a major amount of energy in an impressively short time, and it feels complete even in spite of that time constraint.


Even though I do have some problems with it, the track “Ain’t No Way” is a huge standout specifically for that uniqueness in the tracklist. Though the track is almost 5 minutes long, it has a packed list of features that, to me, leads into an issue of each artist not having enough time to fully flesh out their appearances in the song. Even though every performance here is fantastic, there isn’t enough time to fully get used to each artist, which limits their capabilities here. However, this does have a huge benefit, as it allows the song to flow from point to point, without it feeling boring or repetitive. 


On top of that, the second to last song on the album, “Zatoichi (ft. slowthai)” feels like this album’s crown jewel. The song feels like a combination of every style that was explored on the album so far, with the most futuristic sounding production, the most energy, and the catchiest hook of the whole project. It uses melodic hums on top of a crisp instrumental, which is so loud that it almost feels at odds with Denzel’s performance, but in a way that adds to the style of the track, rather than distracting one from the other. For the hook on this track, slowthai has heavily distorted vocals, which again pulls from Tyler, the Creator’s IGOR, over breakbeat drums and intense instrumental swells. 


With the most intense moment of the record out of the way, Denzel uses the final track as a point of reflection, where he gives a final take on lyrical themes of the rest of the album. This all complimented by the instrumental, which ends off the album the same as it began, with a slow, R&B and jazz influenced beat, with Denzel giving a single, long verse over the track. The instrumental is also much more stripped back than anything else on the record, which allows for Denzel to stand out to give this final message. He also has some standout lines on this track, such as “I’m the devil, which means I sold my soul to myself,” which is an incredibly interesting take to hear from Denzel. Considering his usage of biblical references throughout this entire album, it seems to imply the idea that, not only has he taken control of his life and circumstances, but also that he has recognized the issues that make him “evil.” This even seems to tie back into the title itself, giving a successful instance of him “melting his eyes and seeing his future,” as he explains all the way back in the very first song of the album. 


Melt My Eyez See Your Future will easily go down as one of the most standout hip-hop projects of the year, with a sound incredibly unique to Denzel, and with lyricism unmatched by many others in his genre. It is seriously a must listen for anyone who finds themselves regularly listening to rap, or even those who are just now getting into the genre. Not only this, but considering the amount of influences Denzel pulls from on this album, there is bound to be something here for everyone, even if that means there are other points that aren’t as enjoyable as those peaks.