Review Summary: The hot streak continues
Fresh off the release of his latest album, Detroit rapper Danny Brown has reunited with London producer Paul White for two new songs that largely follow in Atrocity Exhibition'
s stylistic footsteps.
The EP’s opening cut (the self-titled “Accelerator”) is a natural extension of White’s post-punk production on tracks like “Downward Spiral” and “Golddust”. A rattling beat builds up to a funky bass-laden chorus as Danny raps in a disturbing nursery-rhyme cadence. As the track progresses, distorted guitar and synth are fused into the mix to create a claustrophobic sense of tension. After the build, the gates break open to give way to one final chorus in which Danny’s frantic chanting is mimicked by both guitar and bass. White has said that the production on “Accelerator” is intended to invoke the spirit of “a dirty rock’n’roll record”- a sentiment that is confirmed by the track’s grimy, reverb-drenched production and the lyrics themselves, in which Danny states that “I’m more Black Sabbath, not your average rapper rapping.”
The EP’s other track is “Lion’s Den”- a far more electronic cut that incorporates a female vocal sample in both the beat and the climactic chorus. Elaborating on themes from tracks like “Hell For It,” Danny reflects on his success while also exploring his mortality and addiction. Verses like “you see it half empty, I see it half full” are unusually optimistic for Danny, though they manage to tie in well with the song’s heroic tone and historical/religious allusions. In the song’s hook, Danny compares himself to the Biblical Daniel, who is stuck in a symbolic “lion’s den” of addiction despite his best efforts to escape. Though not as hard-hitting or off-the-wall as the title track, “Lion’s Den” is still a fantastic cut that presents one of Danny’s most familiar themes in an interesting new context.
While some might downgrade the tracks on Accelerator
as an insignificant pair of B-sides, these are both exceptionally well-crafted tunes that could definitely hold their own against the highlights of Atrocity Exhibition
. Both Danny and White continue to bring their respective A games to rapping and producing, resulting in some of the craziest hip-hop tracks in recent memory. The inclusion of instrumentals showcasing White’s production is another great bonus, since Danny’s distinctive vocals so often take the spotlight. Overall, this EP is a fantastic continuation of Atrocity
and will hopefully tide fans over until the next release from these two. Even if it isn’t your cup of tea, there’s no denying that Danny and White are putting out some bat*** crazy work.