Danny Brown – Old


Unlike many rappers who front for brand names and labels, Danny Brown is an honest reflection of Detroit, the city in which he was born and raised. On the 32 year-old’s third and latest record, Old, 19 tracks tell the story of isolation, grit and pill-popping in America’s toughest city. Combining old school break beats with EDM and Southern trap double-time hi-hats, the final product is the best hip hop disc of 2013 and proof that concept albums can still exist in an industry of ephemeral and forgotten releases. Old includes production from A-Trak, Frank Dukes and Oh No (among others), and features guest artists including Freddie Gibbs, Purity Ring and A$AP Rocky. Unlike his sophomore album XXX, Brown’s latest record avoids intentional humour and is instead dark and brooding. Songs about amphetamine abuse (“Dip”) and troubled youth (“Torture”) contrast with cellar-dwelling verses (“The Return”) and smoked-out, sub-bass heavy party anthems (“Kush Koma”). In Danny’s own words, “I always try to act like I’m some old school artist from the 1960s, so I approached this album like I was making it for vinyl. There’s a side A and a side B… I do that underground hip hop shit and that turned-up trap shit.” Old should be heard from start to finish through powerful subwoofers or a good pair of headphones: it’s a journey of polished production, a showcase of hip hop’s rising stars, and a reminder of the importance of storytelling in the art of rap. (Fool’s Gold, foolsgoldrecs.com) Harrison Samphir


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *