Music

Danny Brown Went ‘Back To XXX Time’ While Recording His New Album ’40’

10 years ago, Danny Brown broke through with the blog-and-fan-favorite album XXX, redefining what rap could look and sound like and pushing him toward becoming a boundary-pushing star in his own right over the next decade. In a new interview with the Amazon Prime Video-based Coda Collection, Brown reflects on what made XXX so special with FakeShoreDrive’s Andrew Barber, and explains how his groundbreaking breakthrough album inspired his upcoming sixth album, 40.

“I think rap was totally different,” he says of XXX resonating with fans in 2011. “There weren’t too many people talking openly about drug abuse or mental health problems or being just vulnerable in their songs like that. That was just me taking my influences and melding them all together. It was just good timing — lightning in a bottle type of sh*t.”

He also described how the pandemic and resulting shutdown affected his writing process on 40, comparing it to the process on XXX. “The f*cking pandemic hit and next thing you know I’m in the house by myself, stuck, bored, I don’t have nothing to do,” he remembers. “I started back writing and sh*t was trash… I’m like, ‘I might be washed…’ Shows are cancelled, I’m trying to make new sh*t, so I’m just going through a whole depressed, stressed-out moment. So I just wrote myself out the ditch. That’s the only thing I can really say. It was almost like ‘back to the basics’ of the sh*t and it felt like it was back to XXX time again.”

And in one more part of the interview, Brown recalls having the chance to sign with 50 Cent but refusing to change his look to appease even the mighty mogul behind G-Unit Records. “50 was down with signing me but now I’m already set into my look,” he says. “This is when I’m wearing the skinny jeans and thrift store clothes and sh*t like that. So he’s like, “No, you need to look non-approachable, you need to look mean, you need to wear big jeans and sh*t.’… I wasn’t with that sh*t so 50’s like f*ck that sh*t.”

You can check out the preview clips above and find the full episode here.

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