If home is where the heart is, my heart is a smoke-filled bar on a dark street in Detroit where only half the streetlamps burn and arteries of beats pump Hip-Hop heads in through its doors.
About a week ago I was sitting on the edge of the stage at Alvin’s in the D as Black Milk, Big Tone, Nick Speed and 14KT unleashed hours of retarded beats, in a producer showcase hosted by House Shoes. The bass had empty Corona bottles bouncing on tables, and mixed drinks had those Jurassic Park rings the size of ocean waves vibrating in plastic cups. Phat Kat, Invincible and Buff1 all mingled in the crowd, mean-mugging the cuts with everyone else. This is the heartbeat and lifeblood of Detroit.
But what made that night a standout wasn’t all the familiar faces, but rather a young MC I’ve been hearing about â€“ Danny Brown. Dude has seemingly come from nowhere with banger after retarded banger circulating on mixtapes that the D has already committed to memory.
It’s like Hip-Hop manifested him to fill a thirsty void. Like rap divined him, and it was good.
Nick Speed has been lacing Danny Brown nasty for a minute, and their shit just makes sense together like French fries and milk shakes. So when Speedo dropped the beat on “Whatupdoe” at Alvin’s, and Danny picked up the micâ€¦ wellâ€¦ shiiitâ€¦ I wish you were there too.
Danny Brown says things other rappers say; he just says it better. He’s hilarious, fresh and rejects recycled metaphors. Most of his verses start like he’s mid-thought, and rarely does he catch it on the 1 â€“ as though he walked into a double-dutch and just stared jumping his ass off while other MCs are still on the side doing that little waiting-for-the-right-moment swing.
Danny Brown’s not careful, he’s brash and calculated. He’s the antidote to any squishy, snuggly, hipster-hop you might find to be a bit “light in the loafers,” – Gotty. He maintains a crossover appeal for Corona clubs, smoke-filled bars and darkened streets with only half the lamps burning.
And he just came out with his first full-length, Hot Soup. Give it a spin.