Denzel Curry gets ready for battle with "Sumo"!

We've been waiting for "Sumo" for a long, long time now. Denzel Curry, the southern Florida rapper, first tweeted "SUMO FEAT. ??? COMING SOON" with some accompanying live footage back in October of last year. We had to wait 6 months to find out who this guest MC was going to be, who turned out to be … nobody.

And yet "Sumo" doesn't disappoint. If anything it holds us over, waiting for "Taboo," the first official follow up to 2016's Imperial. It's as wild and raw as the live footage suggested back in October, which is no easy feat considering how hard it is to capture the blood, frenzy, aggression, and energy of Curry's live performance.



"Sumo" sounds as heavy as the name suggests. The beats are ponderous, crashing like an approaching Thunder Lizard, activating the tiny animal panic centers of the brain. It's dirty and distorted as you would like, along the lines of the noise-hop of Death Grips or Run The Jewels, or industrial hip-hop pioneers Techno Animal.

Denzel Curry still offers a contemporary twist on these rough, ragged sounds. Curry favors the modern drill trip chantalong chorus, interspersed with his trademarked cutting flow. Denzel Curry came up out of the Dirty South battle rap scene. He hasn't lost his edge. We Are: The Guard would feel sorry for someone who would go up against him. They might go into the Sumo ring, only to find themselves at a samurai duel.

Denzel Curry's promising Taboo will be out this year, sometime, but just pushed back the release date yet again. Curry doesn't make any excuses, stating simply "You can't rush art."

No, you can't. If Taboo is ½ as good as "Sumo," it'll have been worth it. 


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.