Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats have teamed up for a surprise album/film, UNLOCKED
It's hard to find two people that have dominated hip-hop in 2019 like Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats. Now, they're coming together.
2019 was a triumphant year for hip-hop both internationally, and two musicians behind a lot of it were Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats. The former is a rapper who needs a near-no introduction in 2020, having dominated the year just gone with his latest record ZUU and a string of singles and guest collaborations which kept Denzel Curry in the public eye while he worked on what's next: the chaotic, slowthai-assisted Psycho, jumping up with Glass Animals for Tokyo Drifting, songs with Smokepurpp, City Morgue, Wiki, Charlie Heat, Flying Lotus and - somewhat infamously in Australia - the cover of Bulls On Parade that called for a Rage Against The Machine resurgence in 2020.
The latter, meanwhile, is someone whose name you'll mostly only see behind-the-scenes. Once one-half of US trap duo LOUDPVCK, Kenny Beats has blossomed into one of hip-hop's most in-demand producers, with his Midas touch extending through tracks by Rico Nasty, Ed Sheeran, Dominic Fike, Gucci Mane, FKA Twigs, DaBaby, J.I.D., JPEGMafia, Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs, ScHoolboy Q and the list goes on, and on, and on. Then, there's also his infamous The Cave YouTube series, which sees him build tracks EARTHGANG, Lil Yachty, Smino, Denzel Curry, Doja Cat, Danny Brown, 6LACK, Slowthai and more names to add to his ever-growing discography.
As we enter a 2020 bound to be dynamite for hip-hop's dominative, international explosion, these two forces - Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats - have come together for a new collaboration album/short film, UNLOCKED. While the full-length record isn't available on streaming until presumably later on, the record has been uploaded onto YouTube as a 24-minute short film, depicting Denzel and Kenny chase after the album after it "leaked" online through a variety of live-action/stop-motion/animated mediums.
You can dive into the record below and form your own opinions, but on first listen, it appears to be a record the links the past and present of hip-hop with what's bound to be a remarkably bright future for both Denzel and Kenny; nods to Wu-Tang Clan (in Denzel's quick-firing, but often playful and light-hearted-sounding rhymes) and Madlib (through Kenny's production) incorporated amongst sounds that are distinctly that of the two artists, with their forward-thinking approach to the genre on feature display.
It's a great record that's worth a dive into, so check out the short film below, and stay tuned for the release of the full-length record on streaming services sometime later:
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