Danny Brown is hip hop’s most interesting character to date. Not since Busta Rhymez has a rap artist straddled the lines of so many genres and embodied a persona that is so out of this world. Wearing black skinny jeans, studded leather jackets, and rocking a mohawk/flat top with green tips, he looks more like a punk rocker than a rap artist. However, Danny’s lyrics are the most authentic raps that the genre has seen in years. He rhymes about the streets of his hometown Detroit, but not in the braggadocious, semi-romanticizing way that we’ve become accustomed to in rap music. Brown’s lyrics are captivatingly introspective, often painting an ugly picture of what the impoverished landscape of Detroit looks like, many times in a way that’s downright scary.
He burst out onto the scene in 2010 with his first album The Hybrid after years of mixtape obscurity. Hybrid got him the following he needed to release his second album XXX which dropped on his 30th birthday. XXX was praised by nearly every music publication in circulation as the best rap album of 2011. With influences of old school hip hop, grime, drum and bass, indie rock, and more, XXX solidified Danny’s place as the music industry’s new mad man. He followed up XXX with Old in 2013, which boasted production from a wide array of producers who don’t have anything to do with mainstream hip hop (Purity Ring is one of them). He turned this eccentric trip into a billboard topping success that has cemented him into the conversation as one of the most creative rappers on the scene right now.
Personally I’m excited to see DB take the stage in Carrboro on Sunday. The last time he was in the area was at Cat’s Cradle last April and he tore the house down. Going through hits from Hybrid to Old, he had everyone in attendance singing along to the point that he took a break to let the crowd sing his songs for him. He obviously likes us here in NC after his last visit, so I’m expecting him to show the crowd at Future Islands 1000 some major love with an amazing set.