Review Summary: The birth of the Danny Brown we’ve come to love, just a bit more scrambled.
Judging from the cover of this album that looks like a 13 year old’s cell phone background, one might cast it aside as a tepid first album from an immature artist that was yet to find his sound. Danny Brown, the vulgar, grimy, vulnerable artist with a magnetic personality would indeed grow over the years but one would be foolish to say it all started with XXX (or Black and Brown).
Danny, despite having considerable technical skill and a true love of music of all genres, is not as creative as one would expect in structuring his albums. Albums are almost directly split in half: one comedic, filled with sex and drug lyrics and the other dark, introspective and almost crying for help. Half done in his deep voice and the other the famous Danny Brown squawk. Though that’s not always the case, he tends to follow that formula. This album is a little different. He’s a lot poorer, the production is less extravagant, the features less EDM-y, but it still was the same Danny Brown, as the title would suggest. Sure, the album is less structured track wise, but you get your mix of the highs and lows of his life. The sour moments sprinkled with comedic punchlines, and the party jams laced with realism.
This isn’t “that old Danny Brown” either. Songs like Exotic, Greatest Rapper Ever and Guitar Solo are closely similar to the hits that would make him famous in the future. It’s just not split half and half. It’s a roller coaster of highs and lows, probably what Danny was experiencing before he could really make a proper follow up in XXX. Content wise, this album may rank with some of his darkest material but it has enough charm to make you feel for and like the guy for how blatant he is.
Fans of Daniel should not overlook or make any excuses not to listen or relisten to the album that predated his success.