Melt My Eyez, See Your Future: Denzel Curry sheds alter egos, offers dark introspection in new album


Denzel Curry

Denzel Curry’s studio album Melt My Eyez… in years is one of his most mature, introspective and realistic works to date.

Denzel Curry has completely shed his alter ego in favor of speaking from the heart in the much anticipated new release of Melt My Eyez, See Your Future.

“I’m not trying to be Zeltron. I’m not trying to be Aquarius Killa. I’m not trying to be Raven Miyagi. I’m not trying to be any of those personalities or those people. I’m Denzel. I’m a human. I have feelings,” said Denzel Curry on an Instagram live stream, referring to his many alternate egos throughout his career.

Curry’s last album release, ZUU, was nearly three years ago in 2019. While he has released collaborations and other side projects since then, See Your Future is the major studio album that Curry has been carefully cultivating for years, claiming it as his metamorphic release.

But what’s truly special about this track isn’t the shift away from traditional percussive hip hop into sample and melodically heavy lines, or the collaboration with a huge range of musicians: rappers like T-Pain, jazz legends like Robert Glasper, producers and arrangers like the famous bass Thundercat. It is the introspection of the lyrics, the examination of class, race, and mental issues.

Introspection & Reflection

In the opening track to the album, “Melt Session #1,” Curry begins his monologue of self-reflection. It’s a work about “journaling the journey and the mistakes on the way.”

The album tackles deep and troubling issues, from systemic racism in “John Wayne”, political polarization in America in “The Last”, to personal issues Curry struggled with like depression, anger, and substance abuse in “Melt Session #1”.

Two especially powerful pieces of songwriting are Worst Comes to Worst and X Wing.  They curse the hate and jealousy that comes with success, and the shallow and lurid nature of consumer culture.

The world is darker than the integration of a Brooklyn Dodger.

— John Wayne

“Worst Comes to Worst” is unusually full of rhetoric for a rap song, delivered in a sermon-like style about societal issues about America. 

Tried to get to heaven but we see what Heaven cost here, huh?

— Worst Comes to Worst

The most touching pieces are Curry’s own monologues on himself. His romances, pains and joys, hates and jealousies, and depression are all facets of himself that he must control and improve, to coincide and coexist with. The first two tracks tell of his troubled past years. “Sanjuro” tells of his childhood growing up in the Sunshine state, and the contrast between New York and Florida, whether it be the drug cartels, the housing prices, or simply the “great lil’ life.”

Melody & Harmony

While Curry’s lyrics are powerful and meaningful, deviating from the unhealthy trope of rap centering on women, drugs, and money, the album also has  powerful song and melody.  

Juxtaposing unsettling and profound issues discussed, Melt My Eyez, See Your Future actually features surprisingly calm melodies, with more soul and jazzy beats as well as gospel-style choral harmonies. 

Despite being accompanied by a light, garage-band feel with a jazzy melodic backtrack and light snares and bass, it’s not rave music, but relaxing and almost gives off lofi-feels. Percussive elements like snares and bass are light and relaxed, unlike booming hammers associated with popular hip hop songs. It’s a nebulous tone for the majority of the track, inducing a feeling of soaking in warm water and clouds – until the impact of the lyrics starts to hit. 

Denzel Curry’s album, with all its pessimism, isn’t an “emo” rant about the world. Curry begins and ends with a message of change, and hope for himself and the world.