October 12, 2016

Will Schube owns ten pairs of the Curry 2s.

Cool things don’t originate at Urban Outfitters. It’s where you find “distressed” jeans paler than Trump’s kids, the ideal gift for your friend who NEEDS both Banks & Steelz and Abbey Road on vinyl, and the perfectly ill-fitting, irony-laden dad hat. The place sucks. I felt 45 years old when I went in there asking for a pair of Levi’s without holes in them. They didn’t have any. So pardon my cynicism when the seemingly uninfluenced and unimpeachable Denzel Curry released a video under their original content umbrella. If they’re now corrupting rap with original videos I’m taking over Elon Musk’s space division.

Curry, the former Raider Klan denizen, partnered with the asshole-chic clothing behemoth for his “Zenith” video. He somehow avoided wearing a really big t-shirt with a little sweater over it and “Zenith” is still excellent. It’s a minor miracle. The track features Joey Bada$$, who, considering his nostalgic sensibilities, likely only hopped on the song because it reminded him of those old TVs you can still find in motels. Curry’s flow is a one-track locomotive unconcerned with variability or volume. The 21 year old’s energy is infectious, deferring a chorus in favor of multiple bars that start with, “Catch me on a zenith.” Bada$$ starts his verse with, “Catch me on a zenith at the top pulling my penis,” and Curry already wins.

The video is a clever black-and-white affair, Curry and his dudes on one side of a wall, not knowing that Bada$$ and his crew are on the other side. While his friends stay distracted by screens, Curry rages against the ennui and breaks through to the other side. “Zenith” is one of Imperial’s many standouts, and the record is soon to be re-released on Loma Vista, a label not totally familiar working with rappers. This could be good for Curry, an exceedingly eccentric, creative individual who would lose that originality under label pressure.

Denzel also recently made another video appearance, this time with Young Simmie on “Shoot the 3,” a track off Simmie’s laconically joyous Simmie Season. On the Raider Klan reunion, Young Simmie raps, “I’m a different breed, got your bitch on me, feeling like I’m Curry, balling on your team,” and it becomes immediately clear that Steph Curry probably shops at Urban Outfitters. Luckily, Simmie has Denzel to save him; an infinitely cooler Curry. I’d take Simmie and Denzel over KD and Steph any day.

The duo, unfortunately, aren’t great at basketball, but they apparently jacked up enough 3s during the video shoot to make a few for footage; the gleeful surprise in their eyes after each made shot is joyous. Curry’s verse brings a ferociousness to Simmie’s laid back hook and producer HIGHAF’s horn-laden beat. His flow is unrelenting and pummeling, a nice counterpoint to Simmie’s gooier delivery. Florida rap has grown at a seemingly exponential clip, and it’s easy to imagine a world where Denzel and Simmie (and Kodak) are on top. Just don’t tell Urban Outfitters.