Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Denzel Curry – Ricky

A belated Father’s Day song…


[Video]
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Nortey Dowuona: “If you can’t understand it, then they can’t explain it to you.” — Greg Farshtey
[10]

Andy Hutchins: The eponymous Ricky here is Curry’s father, but one could be forgiven for thinking it’s an allusion to a movie character who was immortalized when Denzel was negative four years old, as it’s lyrically concerned with dispensing the sort of advice that the late John Singleton’s classic sometimes delivered via soliloquy. The wisdom of that advice, as was the case with Furious Styles, would maybe not pass full sociological vetting, but that’s also not the point: It sounds good enough, thanks to a FNZ beat built for sneering, that it could sink in. And as a fellow Florida boy, it heartens me to hear a brilliant rapper assert that he and his crew could stand eye-to-eye with Dipset — and as part of a rhyme scheme involving “jit,” no less.
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Alfred Soto: This local boy (Carol City!) loves garage beats, has authority, and has no patience for women hating. He says what he means and stops. It took longer to mix a drink than finish “Ricky.”
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Joshua Minsoo Kim: It’s concise and direct, moving effortlessly between its two modes to keep its impact intact. More important: this is the least corny that Curry’s ever sounded.
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Will Adams: A pithy recounting of the advice Denzel received growing up with an appealingly knocking beat from FNZ, marred slightly by the fact that Denzel appears to run out of things to say even before the already truncated run-time.
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Tim de Reuse: The delivery is overwhelming not for its speed but for its emphatic singsong; most evident in the chorus, where the already-infectious chant gains a new level of energy through the strangely tuneful way it comes out. It’s a lovely effect, and it’s even lovelier that it lasts exactly as long as it ought to.
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Julian Axelrod: There’s been approximately ten trillion rap songs about parents, but they all tend to hit the same emotional beats: grateful (if it’s about a mother), resentful (if it’s about a father), or weirdly horny (if it’s YG’s verse on that 2 Chainz song about his mom). But I’ve never heard it done like this. There’s not an ounce of fat or schmaltz here, just brutal nostalgia and pure forward motion. This is Curry at his leanest and most effective, painting a panorama out of half-remembered ad-libs and asides. While the song is supposed to be a paean to his parents, his wayback machine is big enough to fit his friends, his influences, and even his younger self. And holy shit, that chorus is incredible: a grimly hilarious hood haiku that subverts its own subject matter while still making you wanna body-slam someone through a wall. It’s the rare banger that blurs past and present, hope and horror, rap and reality. Both Ricky and “Ricky” are unflinching, unrelenting, and unforgiving.
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