Danny Brown raps for shock value. He masks his true self behind layers of high-pitched buffoonery.
At least, that’s what he wants you to think. You see, the real Danny Brown has problems like everyone else. He’s afraid of failure. He’s done unsavoury things in the past of which he’s not proud. Danny’s meal of choice: corned beef, ramen noodles and Apple Jacks. Let that boy cook.
Danny is all over the place on ‘Old,’ his first album since 2011’s exceptional ‘XXX.’ At times he’s contrite, or at least introspective, when he’s running through his past. “Back when I was livin’ on Flanders,” he recalls on ‘Torture’, “seen another dope fiend beat another wit a hammer.”
But by the album’s end, we get the old Danny, that shit-talking crazy guy from Detroit, the one who commands ladies not to stop until they’re pregnant (‘Break It (Go)’). The one who prefers weed-soaked hyperbole (‘Kush Coma’, ‘Smokin & Drinkin’) to sullen reflection (‘Lonely’, ‘Clean Up’).
In its totality, ‘Old’ is a free-wheeling, Molly-popping collection of dizzying trap-rap set atop an equally unnerving soundtrack (courtesy of producers Paul White, Oh No and SKYWLKR, among others). It’s clear Danny is dealing with some demons, but his issues don’t dampen the mood.
He’s happiest when things are completely out of control. ‘Old’ is his catharsis.
Words: Marcus J. Moore
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Stream tracks by Danny Brown via Deezer, below…