Track Review – Sumo


What separates Denzel Curry from his peers is his constant innovation. Not innovating as in refining his the sound he’s created, but completely taking it back to basics and switching genres. In just three years he’s went from creating music that could be described as borderline RnB on 32 Zel, to the more aggressive trap infused Imperial in 2016, and now his sights have landed on a more industrial direction. His spat of singles and the EP 13 has demonstrated his capability for this trend, with brutal production comprised of blown out 808s and nasty rattling drums, and most importantly his relentless, breathless flow.

Sumo, the lead single of his upcoming release Taboo, is an unexpected continuation of this trend, considering that Denzel announced he was taking a hiatus for mental health reasons. Charlie Heat’s thumping production compliments Denzel’s flow, which while it isn’t particularly new, it’s still hard as ever. The beat does feel like it lacks the same ferocious aggression that Ronnie J infused into Imperial, which is a shame, but at most it’s a minor gripe and probably a creative choice. Lyrically, the track manages to be self-complementary yet is dripping in creative references, my favourite being ‘chopper eat a ***** like Chowder’, which is such a strange yet humorous reference. I feel like having a track at almost four minutes long in modern day rap is great, but the lack of the teased feature from Ski Mask The Slump God, or really any feature, does hurt the track through a lack of diversity. Not considerably, but a respite from Denzel’s vocal attack would have been interesting. Is the track perfect? Not quite, but it feels close to it and with a guest appearance this track could have been pushed to the next level. Regardless, Sumo has left me heavily anticipating Taboo, and if it’s the same blend of industrial rap and aggressive trap, I won’t be disappointed.

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