Detroit is doing pretty well for itself recently. Eminem needs no explanation, Slaughterhouse has built itself a cult following, Big Sean is on the rise with Kanye West’s GOOD Music, and Elzhi has released the masterpiece known as Elmatic. Not bad for the city that lost J. Dilla and once upon a time had Obie Trice as its best offering. The question is, does it have room for one more artist? Enter Danny Brown, to the eye he might seem like your prototypical hipster; tight jeans, permed hair and swag galore, but refrain from judging a book by its cover. It’s what on the inside that counts, right?
Danny Brown’s XXX has done the rounds on every blog since around August, and we believe that if you didn’t hear it back then, then you definitely must do so now.
Brown begins the EP with the eponymous track ‘XXX‘, which although consists of your typical ‘braggadocio’ rhymes, is a very honest offering in which Danny Brown details his history and experiences with drugs whilst staring down the barrell of a pill bottle.
Maintaining the drug narration, the following track “Die Like A Rockstar” pretty much does what it says on the tin. Danny Brown details the idea of perishing in the manner of the typical rockstar, not too dissimilar to those in the infamous ’27′ club. The beat really is engrossing and Danny Brown’s lyrical ability comes to light as he paints pictures of experimenting with various drugs with celebrities who have succumbed to them.
“Pac Blood” is a hard but humourous track, seeing Brown showcase his natural, comedic nature. The beat is pumping and fast paced, produced by former Odd Future Member Brandun Deshay. The first 3 tracks are what you usually describe as hardcore songs not suitable for commercial play; the next one, however, is. “Radio Song” pokes fun at rappers who aim their music towards album sales rather than working on their craft. The execution is exemplary, and the hook comes off just as irritating as the typical radio tuned chorus.
Remaining tracks on the first half of the mixtape include the grotesque tribute to oral sex ‘I Will‘, seeing Danny boast his cunnilingus skills. An odd track to say the least, it seemingly channels Ice Cube for inspiration. ‘Bruiser Brigade‘, which includes the first feature on the album by Dopehead outshining Brown, is a hype track that would make Waka Flocka Flame proud.These are followed by “Monopoly” and “Blunt After Blunt“, with the former as an unrelenting lyrical smorgasbord of boasts and showbaoting, and the latter a trip into the nether realms of Danny’s mind. Both tracks exhibit Danny’s ability in different aspects, before he eventually returns to bravado and fronting his drug use in Outspace and Adderal Admiral.
The latter half of the mixtape sees a much slower, calmer Danny Brown, reflecting the content well of tracks such as DNA,Party All The Time and Nosebleeds and revealing a different, almost weaker side to Brown’s boastful arrogance.
The melancholy of these tracks continues, especially with EWNESW, which sees Brown ruminating over his upbringing in his hometown. Very strong end to the mixtape with tracks such as Field, a particular piece which pays homage to the area that Brown grew up, and also what could be considered the best outro of the year, 30.
XXX is 19 tracks of pure unadulterated Hip Hop. One issue that listeners may have with Danny Brown is his voice, and the superficial might be put off by Danny’s looks and subject matter. They would, however, be doing themselves an injustice as Danny Brown is a hilarious artist with an uncanny ability to find inventive ways to boast about his exploits with women and drugs. Don’t miss out on one of the best releases of the year. Especially since it is free.
Click Here to Download Danny Brown’s XXX.