Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Denzel Curry ft. JPEGMAFIA and ZillaKami – Vengeance | Vengeance

The Singles Jukebox | TH3 51NGL35 JUK3130X


Crystal Leww: Ah, a rap collaboration that actually feels like a collaboration where every person brings something different to the table! I love the contrast between the textures of Denzel Curry, JPEGMAFIA, and ZillaKami’s voices. Denzel Curry’s bouncing up and down on his snarl, JPEGMAFIA has the cleanest sounding voice, while ZillaKami’s got a rasp that sounds like the dude’s been smoking cigarettes for a week straight. And yet “Vengeance | Vengeance” is completely stuffed to the brim with a consistent high-level of terrifying energy. Consequently, I could do without the outro.

Alfred Soto: What a racket! The bass eats through the muffler, the timbre each distinctive enough to savor, and the acoustic guitar wanders in from a college radio station. I don’t get it but I can hear how something is at stake.

Nortey Dowuona: Heavy, thudding bass drums rain down as Denzel Curry slides in-between the sharp slits and curtains of synths while JPEGMAFIA barrels through, bellowing smoke but no fire, while ZillaKami bites down on the drums and doesn’t let go until he is crushed beneath. However, a drifting, gentle ladling of guitars and crisp, unstarched drums lifting a rumbling, humming bass washes away his toothless body along with Peggy and Denzel paddling along after him.

Julian Axelrod: If you’re gonna try to sell me on this strain of yell-rap, you better have as much charisma and as few South Park references as humanly possible. Denzel Curry drops the ball on the latter, but fares slightly better with the former — he’s inherently listenable, even when his music actively pushes you away. Ideally his guests could offer some variety, but while JPEGMAFIA’s approach feels slightly more human, ZillaKami leans all the way into Curry’s aggressive screamo approach. This feels less like a posse cut and more like a Red Bull variety pack. The tastes may vary slightly, but they all make me anxious.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Of the various provocations offered on “Vengeance,” only JPEGMAFIA’s Drake-taunting and Mickey de Grand IV’s murder ballad of an outro register as anything more than noise and empty threats. It’s fortunate for Denzel Curry and ZillaKami that even their less interesting material sounds compelling — it’s almost ironic that a track so based around lyrics that aim to shock works best if you tune the words out and let the better defined production take over.

Taylor Alatorre: This is somehow the second Denzel Curry video to feature gameplay from Yandere Simulator, a slice-of-life Hitman clone whose one-man production schedule can best be described as “extremely cursed.” Taken in isolation, these visuals make for an excellent complement to the giddy stylistic violence that is at the heart of Denzel Curry’s music. This is horrorcore as Three 6 Mafia had envisioned it, where the content of each homicidal threat matters less than the brazenness and potency of its delivery. Even the illegibility of the chorus works in its favor, transmuting the aimless notebook scrawling of “feel the pain, feel the rain” into an endlessly replayable chunk of rhythmic stew. And just in case you weren’t sure what the proper level of detachment is for absorbing all this, the extravagant outro serves as a good calibrator.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The best song on Denzel Curry’s TA13OO because it coheres three rappers’ distinct styles without letting their obvious flaws get in the way. The production and conceit allow for Curry’s goofy voice and juvenile references to feel endearingly cartoonish. Peggy’s experimentation is refreshingly reigned in, and he sounds like a 2010s version of a 2000s scene band doing a rap cover on Punk Goes Crunk. This would be off-putting in most cases but he’s right at home on a song that aims for an Invader Zim-type of creepy. And then ZillaKami’s post-DMXXXTentacion mania caps it all off with an aggression that demands respect because it doesn’t come off heavy-handed. At the end of the day, “Vengeance” is just a bunch of dorks cosplaying as murderers, trying less to convince you that they’re scary than a group of friends who know how to have a good time. The chorus acts as the perfect mediator between them, and the outro is a reminder that it’s all in good fun.

Micha Cavaseno: Sometimes, I like to think about the fact that rap-rock group Saliva has direct links to the Hypnotize Minds camp. When you think about how ZillaKami’s solo “squalor” is a more overtly-metallised version of the XXXTentacion knockoffs he was doing with former friend 6ix9ine (back before said nemesis discovered playing pretend gangbanger) and how XXX himself was incredibly indebted to Raider Klan affiliates such as Denzel and BONES, a record like “Vengeance” with its harsh squeals of crude riffery turned into junkheap post-Three Six moshrap makes absolute perfect sense. Easily the lightest verse comes courtesy of JPEGMAFIA, whose own form of abrasive rap is more inexplicably indebted to Death Grips than the Raider Klan Continuum so he feels a bit slight but one has to be obliged that he’s the one rapper happy to send subliminals at the aforementioned pedophile. That said, it’s absolutely Zilla’s Disintegrating Drama (of “Left, Right” fame) flow that steals the show here, a nice moment where Denzel rewards a distant progeny for taking their particular spiral of rap madness another step further. For better or worse.

Reader average: No votes yet!

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.