Denzel Curry on Tasering Death of His Brother, Treon Johnson, in Hialeah Police Incident
The last time that we spoke with Denzel Curry, his album Nostalgic 64 had just been released and he was enjoying praise for its intense, dark, and terrifyingly real stories of life in Carol City. Undoubtedly, it was one of the best rap projects to come out of Miami in 2013.
Crowned by Crossfade as the Prince of Miami Rap, Curry's also been heralded by some of music's major national outlets, including MTV and Complex, with a recent boost from his highly-anticipated "Parents" video.
In October, he performed at A3C. In March, he played SXSW. And since the beginning of April, he has been on a nationwide tour with the Underachievers. All good for the "Threatz" rapper, right?
Yes. But on February 27, a man named Treon Johnson died after being Tasered, pepper sprayed, and taken into custody by Hialeah police. The 27-year-old Johnson was to appear in Billy Corben's upcoming Dawg Fight, a documentary following backyard bare-knuckle brawling in Perrine. Johnson was Curry's older brother.
Crossfade: What's the one thing you can point to while on the road and say, "Wow, that was crazy as fuck"?
Denzel Curry: Hmm ... I don't really know. I've seen a lot of things on the road, like mountains. I've seen rivers. I've seen everything, from the U.S. all the way to Canada. Everything is just amazing to me, because I really don't travel out of my neighborhood unless it's for a show.
What about the people?
The people could either be weird or be chill. You don't have a middle with that.
XXL just released their Freshmen cover. Are you in any way disappointed about not being nominated?
No. I don't care. I don't care about the XXL Freshmen. I mean, the guys who made the list, congratulate them because they obviously worked hard to get there. I worked hard, but I know I'm going to be successful regardless, with or without the XXL Freshmen cover.
Your song "Ice Age" describes how cold the world can be. What's the coldest and most heartless thing you've personally seen?
Hmm ... What was the coldest thing I've personally seen? I can't really get into that, man. Can't really get into that.
How have you been since your brother's death?
It still plays in my mind, but I know I got to go harder for him, because I know he's watching me now. He's like a guardian. Same with my grandparents and everything. I took it pretty hard when it first happened, and then when I killed SXSW, I had to go back and bury my brother.
See also: Miami's Top Ten Rappers on the Come-Up