Old Album Review
Fools Gold Records
October 1, 2013
Genre: Hardcore Hip Hop, Party Rap
Danny Brown, master of eccentricity, returns with his third full-length album, eager to open up our minds with his complex and dynamic personality. His beat-choices, various flows and lyrics reflect this hard-to-pin-down personality. At times, this album is very dark and hyper-realistic, while at other times it is extremely ignorant and care-free. While Brown demonstrates great lyrical skill, sometimes the contrast between ignorant and focused proves to be too haphazard to be digestible.
Danny starts the first half of the album with a collection of grim gangster rap soliloquies, stories concerning a wide variety of odd events that have occurred in his life. There’s every imaginable hood story here: everything from getting beat up on the way to buy Wonder Bread (see the track “Wonderbread”) to hearing guns shots that sound like fireworks. “Side A” familiarizes listeners with Danny’s idiosyncratic nature, barraging the ears with depictions of his tough life. He continues to expound upon his experiences that define who he his on the song “The Return,” one of the best songs on the album. Here, he really opens up about his struggles. He has to feed his daughter, which he uses as a reason for his questionable means of acquiring money. The man does not hold back on naming his faults, and this helps listeners comprehend what he is trying to explain. Accompanied with a well-done Sitar beat, the track succeeds at keeping the album’s flow fresh.
Other than “25 Bucks,” which features great verses but an unnecessarily long and tedious chorus, his next 8 tracks are great. More harsh realism in his lyrics, as well as innovative beats, does a great job at entertaining. For example, the track “Torture” shows Brown opening up EVEN MORE than was thought to be possible. The adeptly produced choir beat helps create the dark atmosphere in which he describes how he is desensitized to many bad things because his life is in shambles already. He has already seen too much. On “Lonely,” he talks about how he is, well, isolated. He also drops a couple lyrical nuggets like “Just to get the bacon, dog, you gotta go HAM.” Hilarious, Mr. Brown.
However, the last handful of tracks do a complete lyrical 180. Every song is a stupidly ignorant party song. These are NOT BAD AT ALL; I call these songs “wristcrankers,” because they are so catchy and dance-encouraging, that you can’t help but put your arms in the air and crank your wrists to the beat. It’s just that the contrast is as sharp as a knife, and as uncomfortable as a knife also. While the beats are still great, the lyricism is oh so inappropriate. I can’t even talk about what he talks about. I’m still a minor, and I’ll get in trouble. Just trust me on this; it’s very explicit, and people must be prepared. It’s stupid fun, but it’s still going to be extremely offensive to most people.
Overall, Danny Brown proves to be a good emcee, if not a great one. He’s versatile, and can throw knuckleballs left and right. However, his shift of themes is too awkward, and not as interesting when juxtaposed with his more intellectual tracks. Oh well…TURNT UP!
FAV TRACKS: Side A, The Return, Wonderbread, Gremlins, Torture, Lonely, Clean Up, Dubstep
LEAST FAV TRACKS: Break it Go, Handstand, 25 Bucks