Just Like Candy: Curtis Mayz’s ‘TripleDiziac’

Will Hagle takes a look at another ascendant Dallas rapper, Curtis Mayz.
By    October 4, 2017

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Will Hagle still rocks a Dirk jersey.

Curtis Mayz sounds like he has a sinus infection, some eternal internal blockage that makes him sound both nasally and croaky. His voice is the most immediately captivating aspect of his music, the vocals cutting through to the forefront of the mix after being double—triple—layered on top of each other, passed through various effect filters, and cranked up to the max. The Lil Pumps of the world may have popularized clipping production and a general disregard for audio quality, but Curtis Mayz’s loudness improves his lyricism rather than making the lack of it intolerable.

Mayz’s TripleDiziac, released in late September, isn’t mixed perfectly but is still a strong representation of yet another talented, technically apt lyricist from the Dallas area. Mayz presents himself on the album and elsewhere as an average family man. He’s just trying to make ends meet, but he also happens to be skilled at describing the pains of regular life in rhymed form.

On “Sometimes,” Mayz talks about the stresses of navigating each new day without being whiny or didactic. On “Everything,” he uses the hook to assert that everything is “about the money,” but he spends the verses discussing he and his wife’s relationship problems while striving to provide for their child.

Rap music like this tends to get lost in the shuffle. ‘Relatability,’ which may or may not be a real English word, can be an asset. But listeners are more often attracted to bombastic characters than people who seem like them and downplay their differences. The hardest TripleDiziac gets is “5:38 A.M.,” in which Mayz puts YG’s lyrics and flow over a Destiny’s Child melody.

It feels like, aside from maybe Dorrough’s brief moment in the spotlight, the rest of the country ignored Dallas for decades but now wants to anoint a new superstar from there every few weeks. From Tay-K to POW Recordings’ own T.Y.E. and The Outfit, TX, the immense talent in Dallas’s previously overshadowed hip-hop scene has been unearthed. With TripleDiziac, Mayz makes a strong case that his name should be placed on the proverbial map alongside those names, his own strange sounding voice played as loud as his sound engineers intended.