Danny Brown albums
XXX – (4 / 5)
The vulgar, silly, and exuberant style of Danny Brown was a welcome change of pace for hip hop of the 2010’s. On one hand he took things very seriously addressing suicide and addiction on songs like “Die Like a Rockstar”, “Blunt after Blunt”, and “Party all the Time”, but also made fun of the seriousness of mainstream rap artists as well on “Monopoly”, “Pac Blood”, and “Dna”. Satire rains supreme all over the place on the somewhat overlong album- for example “I Will” is some kind of response to Liz Phair’s “Flower”. “Adderal Admiral” samples Hawkwind and This Heat…I’m not sure if it makes the song any better though. I have never heard that kind of obscurity on a rap album before. Towards the end of the album, Brown’s whinny rap voice goes down to a more conventional thug dialog either proving he can be normal like everyone around him or again adding another level of satire. In all, Brown is the heir to Ol’ Dirty Bastard we didn’t even know we needed!
Greatest Tracks: I Will, Lie4 , Adderall Admiral, 30
Old – (5 / 5)
Old is a great follow up to XXX because it is more consistent, more varied, and more confident. It is everything you want in a follow up to a minor masterwork- an almost perfect record. It stands as one of the better hip-hop albums of the 2010’s. The record is divided into two different sides (like XXX was) the first one devoted to more fast paced and straightforward Danny Brown: “Wonderbread” and “Red 2 Go” are absolutely hilarious in a style unique to Brown.
The second half and the key to his growth is in the way he mocks the current styles of the time. “Dubstep” and”Dip” take shots at club and trap rap, and manage to sound like no one else while doing so; “Smokin and Drinkin” is probably his best tune to date, making fun and celebrating the life style of people that party every single night. His constant chants of “Don’t let me into my zone! You haters leave me alone!” may end up being his defining statement. He also sounds timeless while doing so, and hires different producers to help- the latter album track “Kush Coma” sounds exactly as you think it would with hazy sound smoke clouds. Rappers like Danny Brown are super rare these days, and their originality is hard to find. Fortunately through the rise of Run the Jewels and Shabazz Palaces alongside him, Brown is not alone is his fight against mainstream, sterile hip-hop.
Greatest Tracks: Drinkin and Smoking, Dip, Dope Fiend Rental, 25 Bucks