Danny Brown – XXX Review

Released in the summer of 2011, Danny Brown’s first major project, ‘XXX’, released via Fool’s Gold, is a project ranging from the filthiest selection of hardcore Hip-Hop beats to silky, depressing instrumentals which show a side of Danny which some fans still can’t get a grip on.

While it is titled an ‘album’ and is available on streaming services, it still appears on the always reliable free mixtape-hosting site, Datpiff.

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Anyway, ‘XXX’ is unlike the majority of contemporary Hip-Hop/Rap projects. While most rappers you either like or dislike from hearing one song (Drake fans), Danny is a required taste. While most tracks Danny spits in a childish-high pitch voice, typically for the more turnt tracks on the album, he also brings his voice down to a more grittier and realistic tone. However, when his tone of voice is deeper, it is because he wants you to be listening to him! Not every Danny track is in his crazy-Ol’ Dirty Bastard tone, bragging about how many women he’s fucking or what drugs he’s doing.

The album is split into three sections. From the opening track ‘XXX’, which has a monotone synth humming in the background, random guitar strums and jazzy piano keys throughout, rapping about his rise to success and issues he’s had to deal with. We also get for the first part of the album the trippy-Outkast-electronic vibes, which are particularly present on ‘Die Like a Rockstar’. As the album progresses and Danny’s tone becomes higher, we begin the second part of the album. Although Danny never fails to provide ratchet-let’s-get-fucked-up-tunes, one of the highlights off this section of the album is the¬†especially explicit cut ‘I Will’, which is undoubtedly one of Danny’s smoothest yet dirtiest ‘romance’ songs to date.

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As the album continues into the third section, Danny’s ‘Party All the Time’ is one of his best conscious songs to date. Rapping about a girl he either knew or didn’t, who would abuse ‘party’ drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine to get through her life. One of the saddest but realest bars from Danny come on this track –

“Skip semester, classes have passed, Say she going back, but she ain’t going back, Cause time ain’t waiting for a future on hold, At glass tables, on her knees sniffing coke, Tell her get a hold, grip on life, Rather fill her cup up, liquor with no ice”

Danny visually describes the life this girl is living and how materialistic and mentally corrupting activities can rundown and ruin an individuals life.

Highlights off the album have to be the abruptly mosh-pit-vibes track, ‘Lie4’, the-ear-to-mind visually twisting ‘Monopoly’, which contains one of Danny’s funniest bars –

“And still fucking with them freak hoes, Stank pussy smelling like Cool Ranch Doritos”

As well as the sporadic production on ‘Outer Space’ and the minimalistic drum pattern and sample on ‘Adderall Admiral’.

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When I first heard this album, I was a Danny Brown-virgin. I had no idea what to expect, who he was or what kind of content he’d be pushing out. Over time, I was more intrigued and enjoyed the dirtier, upbeat tracks. Yet, as I got older, the deeper, more emotional tracks shined out to me more as there is more to rap than flashy cars, bragging about the amount of women you’ve slept with and whether you’re ‘real or not’.

Alike to many independent Hip-Hop artists, their music and art is constantly overseen. Danny is one of these artists, and if you ask me, ‘XXX’ is a must-have Hip-Hop album for contemporary Hip-Hop fans.

 

 

 

 

 

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