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Danny Brown - 30
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Published:
Sep 09, 2011
Total plays:
14,716
Saved:
39 times
Why do we like this?

Danny Brown might have been considered a fringe artist this time last year, but the recent release of his newest (free!) album XXX and its proceeding reception show that the hybrid's popularity is growing by the day.

A quick recap: In the mid 2000s Danny was a street MC from Detroit

best known for being in the group Reser'vor Dogs that bribed their way to local radio play. Greyhound trips back and forth to NY led to meeting an A&R at Rocafella Records and the recording of the little-heard street LP Browntown and the beginning of his Detroit State of Mind mixtapes.

Somewhere along the line, Danny violated his probation and served a year in jail, where he penned the rhymes that would be his verses over the J Dilla Donuts beats that made their way into his DSOM mixtape series. Once home, he completed Hot Soup, a street album with Nick Speed and Quelle handling production. The project spawned the underground hit "What Up Doe." He began making a name for himself and collaborating with others leading up to last March's release of his breakthrough free LP, The Hybrid. Buzz from the release eventually led to him signing with Fool's Gold, a label headed by cool guys A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs.

In the age of over-saturation, Danny has been feeding his fans sparingly in anticipation of XXX, named after the Roman numeral for 30, Danny's age. People quick to single out Danny's abrasive tone and equally harsh subject matter will be pleased to learn that Danny has only turned the intensity up on both on XXX. But along with the divisive delivery and content comes the nuanced self-awareness that is barely hidden behind the wild-haircut and blunt advocacy. In an interview with MTV recently, Danny noted that the majority of his previous material was based on a perspectives and actions from the past and that XXX was him reflecting on where his life is today. It's not a pretty picture.

In a mixtape a few years back, Danny had a rhyme over a Madlib beat: "I don't fuck with pills, I smoke purp." It seems he has broadened his horizons since then. He ends "XXX", the eponymous first song, somberly stating that he has been "turning to these drugs, now these drugs turn my life." He doesn't spend his bars as a static caricature of lament, he wavers between being unapologetic about his drug abuse and facing the self-destructive reality of his habits. When he does choose to celebrate his decadence it's wilder and more bizarre than ever before. On "Outer Space," where he names himself the Adderal Admiral, he fantasizes about using a carrot to penetrate your girlfriend with and then pictures you eating said carrot during dinner. The song "I Will" is a testament to Danny's love for cunnilingus.

Although it is definitely the major selling point of the release, XXX does not solely lean on drugs and debauchery. Danny's marginal success has not softened his hunger, just peep the Tinie Tempah-inspired track "30" we've chosen to stream. His bars are as ferocious and hilarious as ever, like the chorus in "Pac Blood," that among other things boasts that Danny has "rhymes that'll make the Pope wanna get his dick sucked." That's one way to say you're dope.

Despite his new proclivity towards designer drugs, new-wave inspired fashion and parties with coked-out caucasians, at the heart of XXX we find the same human being we've seen in past projects. "Fields" is a personal retrospective on growing up in Detroit framed around the social dilapidation that has taken place. "Scrap Or Die" is a surprisingly engaging and vivid narrative dealing with the informal profession of acquiring and selling scrap metal. Danny Brown has proven he deserves your attention.

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