Denzel Curry w/Boogie, Yoshi Thompkins; Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell

Though he was only inducted into “the class” by XXL this past summer, Denzel Curry is far from a hip-hop freshman. Since garnering the interest of producer Spaceghostpurrp at the tender age of 16, Curry has been on the cusp of recent hip-hop trends. His style is distinct and unflinching; he raps staccato, with machine gun bars that are vastly different from the slow, drawling style popularized by his industry-appointed peers, 21 Savage and Lil Yachty. Curry’s timing and fast-paced delivery are technically impressive, and incite a sense of angry liberation. He could easily seem jaded, even at 21 years old, but instead sounds self-assured and hopeful.


Sleigh Bells w/the Regrettes; Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell

Musicians’ use of overt femininity in pop is an unexpectedly effective tool for battling misogyny. Pop music is closely linked to girl-ness; it’s historically been used to manipulate young women into submitting to capitalism by demeaning their interest in the genre and labeling it cute and kitschy, which undermines its value as art. Sleigh Bells wields this ownership of femininity with strength, taking the core, recognizable components of pop and then warping them with noise and screams. Lead singer Alexis Krauss’ vocals tie up each track with a pretty pink bow, evoking Grimes and Britney Spears while also conveying guttural states of anguish. The band’s newest single gives Krauss room to expand on her conventionally impressive range, but in doing so loses much of the avant-garde appeal that hooked listeners six years ago.