With his jacked teeth, jagged hair, zonked eyes and ferociously unpredictable, breathless rapping, Danny Brown is an infinitely interesting and talented dude. We get to see even more sides of the many-sided Detroit rapper on his new album, 'Old,' out October 8 through A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs' Fool's Gold label.
Brown is his wild and reckless self for most of 'Old.' And the music is thumping and cranked, pushing club and bass and hip-hop sounds all the way up and beyond. But there are also several less-crazed tunes where Brown shows his ability for critical storytelling and self-reflection.
We have only been listening to 'Old' for a few days now; there is a lot to digest in these 19 songs. But these are the five songs on Danny Brown's 'Old' we think are the best ones.
5. 'Dope Fiend Rental'
There are a few guest features on 'Old,' including by Purity Ring, Charli XCX, Ab-Soul, A$AP Rocky and Freddie Gibbs. But this one with Schoolboy Q is the hottest. Both rappers slam in with extreme energy for a nasty, dystopian narrative on a sinister, convulsing beat.
4. 'Clean Up'
This is one of the soft and thoughtful songs on 'Old' that shows a new side of Brown. He is mostly rapping about partying and wilding-out, but here he is looking deeply into the mirror and "cleaning it up." The dreamy, smooth beat provides a perfect texture for Brown's reflective vibe.
3. 'Side A'
On this opening track from 'Old,' Brown raps about how everyone wants him to be the way he used to be. But he has changed. 'Old' is, in part, an album about change. Though, for just a few minutes, Brown fantasizes about being The Old Danny Brown. And he runs wild with it.
2. 'Smokin' and Drinkin''
This is Danny Brown in hard-party mode, rapping himself into exhaustion and oblivion. Brown rages all over the manic, buzzsaw beat. This is his unfiltered, demented, twisted id run totally amok.
On this track, Brown manages to fuse his chaotic and reflective selves to form a third self. He comes in hard over a strong, soulful beat and throws down a heavy narrative about his childhood and all the terrible things he experienced growing up poor in Detroit. "Look in my mind and see the horrors," he says on the chorus. "It's torture." This is not The Old Danny Brown. Welcome to The New Danny Brown.