Denzel Curry played a sweaty Market Hotel with Flatbush Zombies, JPEGMAFIA & more
Market Hotel was a madhouse last night (7/27). The place was at full capacity well before the headliner went on, there were A/C troubles that made it feel like a sauna and every single person was literally dripping with sweat, and the music had to be stopped a few times, possibly for a number of reasons. But none of that mattered once Denzel Curry took the stage. It was one of the hottest, wildest shows I've seen in NYC in a long time, and neither Denzel, his posse on stage, nor the constantly-bouncing crowd ever let up on the energy once.
Denzel was celebrating the release of his excellent new album TA13OO, which had been released in three acts: Light (which came out this past Wednesday), Gray (which came on Thursday), and finally Dark (which came out the day of the show). He started his set with the entire Light act in order, and from the moment the hook of opener "TA13OO" came in, the whole place was singing along with Denzel -- kind of impressive given the song was only 48 hours old. By the first act's closer, "SUMO," the crowd rushed the stage and were jumping up and down so much that it felt like the place was going to collapse. And that was far from the only time Denzel got people going that wild.
Light was the only act played exactly in the same order it is on TA13OO, but Denzel's set mostly mirrored the album's tracklist. Sometimes album release shows that focus mostly on a brand new album don't really get crazy until an oldie is played, but that was not the case at all for Denzel Curry. Every TA13OO song already felt like it was a hit, and when he did break out an oldie like Imperial opener "ULT," the crowd excitement was on the same level that it was on for the new songs. Needless to say, Denzel is an engaging performer, but Friday night's show was a reminder that he's a highly talented rapper too. It wasn't all just about hyping the crowd and Denzel wasn't relying too heavily on backing tracks; when he got on the mic, he showed off a level of technical prowess that you really don't see everyday.
Denzel also brought out a bunch of guests during his set, including Kid Trunks for a couple of songs, followed by ZillaKami and noise-rapper JPEGMAFIA (for TA13OO's "VENGEANCE," which they are both featured on), the latter of whom ran through the entire crowd, rolled around on the floor in the back of Market Hotel, and got up close and personal (in a good way) with a few different crowd members. JPEGMAFIA has been on the rise lately, and his brief appearance last night made it very clear that the hype is deserved. He plays NYC again today (7/28) at Warm Up (with an awesome lineup including Just Blaze, Tony Humphries, SOB x RBE, and more), and in August he'll be at Afropunk Brooklyn (which Denzel also plays). If you're going to that or Warm Up, don't miss him.
The biggest guests of all, though, came out at the very end of the set: Flatbush Zombies. The Brooklyn trio had been hanging on stage all night, and you could hear murmurs from other crowd members about whether or not they'd perform, and finally they took to the front of the stage, grabbed their mics, and got the hometown crowd going absolutely nuts for them. After that, the whole crew promptly walked off stage with no encore, and everyone exited the venue. And just like that, the sweatiest yet most perfect night was over.