Friends Like These: Denzel Curry x Robert Glasper

Within the Robert Glasper remix of Denzel Curry’s ‘So.Incredible.pkg’ there lies a wealth of surprises. The addition of deliciously smooth vocal samples and chunky, trance-laced beats means that the new makeover goes harder than the original (which featured on Denzel Curry’s 2020 LP ‘UNLOCKED’), but here’s the biggest treat of ‘em all: Missouri rapper Smino, who offers a dynamic guest verse to the remix, is actually Curry’s blood cousin – a revelation that came to light while recording this very track.

“The funny thing about this track is that Smino came in and did his verse and said to me, ‘We got Currys in my family… We might be cousins!’” recalls Curry. “And sure enough, this man actually was my cousin! We found out that my grandfather’s brother is his uncle.”

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And it seems that there are multiple family ties to be found in ‘So.Incredible.pkg’, as Glasper’s wife, Angelika Beener, laid down vocals for the release. The Grammy Award-nominated pianist and producer explains: “When I got asked to do the remix, my girl was pregnant at the time so I was bringing her into the studios with me when I was doing stuff to make sure that everything was cool.

“I needed somebody to sing… and she has a real dope voice that sounds like a sample. And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the vibe right there!’”.

When Curry heard Glasper’s electric remix for the first time, he was taken aback by Beener’s gorgeous voice. “I was like, “Bro, who’s that singing in the background?”, he exclaims. “[Glasper] said, ‘Man, that’s my wife!’. And I’m like, ‘What? Damn, this is funky.’”

The track appeared on ‘UNLOCKED 1.5’, Curry’s recent collaborative effort with Kenny Beats, which features an all-star lineup of musicians alongside Glasper, including Arlo Parks, Kenny Mason, and Joey Bada$$, among others. The project is made up of remixes of Curry’s original album tracks, complemented by new guests. “‘1.5’ is basically everybody’s take on the original ‘UNLOCKED’,” he elaborates. “It’s just bars everywhere!”

“I feel like with this type of stuff, with ‘UNLOCKED’, it’s not resurrecting any old hip-hop. It’s not,” continues Curry. “It’s literally just been like, ‘Yo, this shit is hard. And I’m not talking about hard as in, H-A-R-D. I’m talking about ‘hawd’!”.

For the latest instalment in NME’s Friends Like These series, the pair also chatted about their collaborative process, their greatest musical inspirations and what motivates them as musicians. Watch the interview in full above.

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– Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats’ ‘So.Incredible.pkg (Robert Glasper version featuring Smino) is out now.

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