DANNY BROWN: Abandoned Houses

Danny Brown - "The Fields"
(XXX; 2011)

The final twelve minutes of XXX is the most impressive sequence of rap music released since The Coup's magnificent trilogy of 'Fat Cats, Bigga Fish', 'Pimps (Freestyling at the Fortune 500 Club)', and 'Takin These'. While Danny doesn't employ the type of seamless transitional interludes found on Genocide and Juice, each song successfully builds on the overall narrative he's attempting to illustrate. By the time the chaotic drums and wonky synths of the title track begin to trail off, the listener has established a genuine relationship with the author. The album's tail end functions as a brief autobiography, celebrating enduring struggle and abrupt triumph lodged between humble origins and an inevitable rock star departure. This journey is anchored by 'The Fields', which shifts from early nineties period piece to a poignant observation of the current incessant economic slump The Hybrid has been fortunate enough to narrowly escape. The hook is genius in its simplicity, insinuating every homeowner in his community is a single mishap away from facing foreclosure. This environment of uncertainty is what inspired Danny Brown to create the most ambitious album in recent memory.

21 comments:

  1. most ambitious album in recent memory.
    ^^^

    word

    30 >>>>>>

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  2. RNC Chairman Michael SteeleAugust 22, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    I have given this record a few spins between last night and today, and this record is amazing. And I`m not even sure just how amazing-- it is one of those records that gets better with time, and has enough gems that you will still get something new out of it later on.

    Great, understated, and even minimalist production. And lyrics that are just as unpolished, weird, and menacing as the beats.

    But beneath all of the nastiness, he hints at feelings of shame, guilt and stress. It almost reminds me of Ready to Die in that respect, although that record had a lot slicker production and some hits.

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  3. RNC Chairman Michael SteeleAugust 22, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    btw...

    Should I give The Hybrid a serious chance or is this record just a lot better than that one? I liked Shaq on Stilts, I remember. But that song doesn`t really compare to this record.

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  4. @RNC Honestly, knowing the type of music you enjoy, I don't think you would dig The Hybrid. It's a great record, but it's more conventional boom bap compared to XXX. But compared to most other rap out there, it's still pretty adventurous if that makes sense.

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  5. Let me put it like this, the way Danny Brown uses his voice as an instrument on The Hybrid is not far off from what you hear on XXX. But the production on XXX is a lot more innovative. Both great projects though.

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  6. RNC Chairman Michael SteeleAugust 22, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Cool, thanks for the heads up

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  7. Man it actually reminded me of the Genocide & Juice mini-story too, good call.

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  8. Danny's incredible.... it sound like Pharoahe monch had a son with a Detrotcrackhead and the kid's been on a meth bender so he's poppin Xanax on the way down... (oh and HexMurda's the godfather)

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  9. @Anonymous No Young Zee in the lineage?

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  10. Oh thats spot on actually. Surprised Noz hasn't made the connection, considering his Outsidaz standom.

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  11. it's a brilliant brilliant album, perhaps the best I've heard all year... for sheer variety, lyrical interest/impact, the tension in his lyrics/character between hedonism and realism etc.

    some of the beats are difficult to get into at first but it all seems to grow on me with each listen.

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  12. @Corpsey I agree completely. Some of the beats I didn't know what to think of at first, but they were so interesting I kept listening and eventually loved them.

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  13. its as if his character is invested in the music as well as the music, accounting for (or 'justifying') the wild variation in tone/style.

    i dunno, compare it to ''weekend at burnies'' for example (which i rate highly) - there's more of a coherent sound to it and it obviously represents part of curren$y's character (chilled out/stoned/confident) but I never really get a sense of him as a REAL person from listening to it. That isn't NECESSARY but I think its one of the appealing things about ''XXX'' - that sense of getting an uncensored look into Danny's head (though obviously its actually a very stylised and conscious presentation).

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