City Slang: Danny Brown gets Slate-d

Sep 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm

An article published in Slate by Jonah Weiner on the subject of underground rap sees Weiner talk a good, hard look at our boy Danny Brown.

In the article, Weiner calls Brown’s XXX the finest underground rap album of the year so far. “A Detroit-based MC, Brown was affiliated for a time with 50 Cent's G-Unit crew and has said that what ultimately kept 50 from signing Brown was his manner of dress: He favors extremely skinny jeans, blousy button-downs and, lately, a new-wave-keytarist-meets-blaxploitation-pimp hairdo,” writes Weiner. “The theatricality of Brown's look (he's also missing his two front teeth) is complemented by his delivery. At times he drops into a gruff baritone, but generally he likes to rise up to a higher, Midwestern honk. (In interviews, Brown has said he admires E-40 and Dizzee Rascal, who both rhyme in exaggerated registers.)”

Elsewhere in an overwhelmingly positive feature, Weiner refers to Brown as a “daffy peddler of smut”. “Brown's outlandish moments, even the fatalist ones, are fun and exquisitely rapped, but his true gift may be an eye for small-bore detail, which he deploys in idiosyncratic evocations of his devastated native city,” says Weiner. “At one point he recalls a bouquet of extension cords blossoming from his childhood window and leading into a neighbor's—his family borrowing power when it fell behind on a bill. The chorus of "Fields" conjures Detroit's cratered topography with a paucity of words: "Where I lived, it was house, field, field, field/ field, field, house/ abandoned house, field, field."

It’s certainly great to see our man Brown getting some positive press.