The 7th installment of a new weekly drop on EVRYDY called “7 Tracks You Should Know By…” Similar to the #SilasSundays Series, this self-explanatory playlist will highlight certain verses from established artists that may have been overlooked or forgotten over the years. The subject of this week’s post is Daniel Dewan Sewell, more commonly referred to as Danny Brown.
One of the most uniquely esoteric and enigmatic figures in
hip-hop pop culture is Detroit’s very own Danny Brown. Albeit larger-than-life rap acts have become the current reincarnated forms of rock stars from the 60s and 70s, the 35-year-old lyricist carries himself with the demeanor of Jimi Hendrix at the height of his popularity circa 1967. I remember the first time I experienced Danny Brown in any capacity during The Roots Picnic 2012. A straightened perm pressed to one side of his head, held in place with a flat-brimmed cap, a tight black leather ensemble on the hottest of days, and a jubilant toothless smile had me bewildered from the jump. I’ve come to learn that this is very on brand for him: mixing a plethora of things together that normally don’t mesh well together and making it work. Very reflective of not only his flamboyant attire but also his music as well.
He proceeded to fearlessly bounce across the stage with an inordinate amount of energy while spewing bombastic lyrics in high-pitched delivery. The younger sect of the audience was intrigued by the presentation and fully moved by the sound. However, the older heads in the crowd (who presumably bought tickets just for De La Soul and Rakim) were not amused by the crude, Odd Future-esq lyrics at first. I distinctly remember the particular line that turned the coldest of faces into a landscape capable of a genuine smirk:
Behind all of the madness and embedded deep in his drug-addled stories involving unimaginable escapades from the raunchiest of nights are sobering truths that we all experience. The “income tax” stanza is Danny Brown‘s absurdist example of a relatable sentiment. Most people feel like Warren Buffet as soon as that tax refund hits our Checking accounts and have felt this overwhelming confidence before. Hearing this line delivered in a clever and comedic sense was appreciated by the elder patrons in the crowd and won them over for the remainder of his set. The true wonder of the Adderal Admiral is his amorphous and chameleonic style. Yes, he can rap about his intake of copious amounts of drugs with the immediacy and swift fervor of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, but with a traditional laid back 90s hip-hop approach, he can also calmly and vividly tell about the traumatic conditions of a deteriorating and dilapidated Detroit that he cares about so deeply.
The juxtaposition of the Jekyll & Hyde complex within Danny Brown was properly demonstrated on Old, his 2013 studio album that featured Ab-Soul, Freddie Gibbs, and A$AP Rocky to name a few. The first half of Old displayed a somber, reflective side of Brown which talked about his painful life before fame. The second half of the album, an EDM festival lover’s dream, was the complete inverse sonically. In 2016, Danny Brown released his strangest project to date: Atrocity Exhibition. Although there were only a handful of traditional hip-hop songs on his latest project, Atrocity Exhibition is easily his most captivating. It takes some time to get accustomed to it, but it’s a high-quality project that’s worth your time. A fitting sentence that summarizes Danny Brown‘s music: it is an acquired taste that is highly addicting once your senses have conformed to it.
Check out some of Danny Brown‘s best verses that he’s been a part of over the years. Whether he is hyperactive or docile, Danny has the ability to entertain the listener with outlandish lines while sneaking in slivers of sobering reality for one to ponder on.
When you’re done with this, listen to the previous installments of the 7 Tracks You Should Know By…series, below:
From Monopoly by Danny Brown:
The Hybrid smoking on Papaya
That give you n****s bronchitis, what you write is all vagina
What I write is Wall of China, n***a, that’s great
Like eighths of Grape Ape getting stuffed in my suitcase
Ready to hit the studio and s**t all on your mixtape
Nah, literally, s**t all on your mixtape
Wipe with the credits, leave stains on the Jewel case
In just two takes, dog, the booth’ll get souffléd
You’re hiding something like a toupee
Truthfully, my friend: touché
You gon’ get exposed like an up-and-coming model
And to me your label seems like one of them pageant mommas
So guess who’s the little b***h? That’s you
You must suck a lot of d**k: That’s true
I misuse with issues and pistols
Mind racing like Bristol heart of igloos
My n***a, you ain’t been what I been through
And if so, you’d take a pencil through your temple
Cause I done served fiends on they menstrual
Ain’t even have pads: stuffed they panties with tissue
Hit the ave cause they mouth ain’t bleeding
And your style’s like fried chicken without the seasoning:
N***a, that’s bland f**k you up and ya mans
I smack you like a b***h: n***a, that’s open-hand