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Music / Danny Brown

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Stank pussy smellin' like Cool Ranch Doritos!
Ain't it funny how it happens? Upcoming heavy traffic
Say ya need to slow down 'cause you feel yourself crashing
Staring in the devil face but ya can't stop laughing
Staring in the devil face but ya can't stop laughing
"Ain't It Funny", Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Brown (born Daniel Dewan Sewell on March 16, 1981) is an American rapper and singer from Detroit. He is known for his distinctive voice, which can go from a low growl to a high screech, his party boy persona (epitomized in XXX), and, insane appearance.

After releasing a series of mixtapes, including Browntown and Hot Soup, Danny released his debut album The Hybrid in 2010, which received almost no recognition. The following year, he released his second album XXX, which gained critical acclaim and turned him into an indie darling. Since then, he has became one of the main rappers from the Midwest scene and the face of his label Fool's Gold Records. He has also been featured on albums by artists like El-P, A$AP Rocky, and Purity Ring.

In the late 2010s, Danny's public image began changing, as he fixed his famous chipped teethnote  and cut his hair. This was reflective of an improvement in his mental health, as he explained that he was taking better care of himself. In 2023, following a trainwreck podcast appearance in which he insulted his label, Danny went to rehab for alcoholism and emerged clean, religious, slimmer from his new healthy eating regimen, and with his hair cut even shorter and bleached either red or platinum blond. Since going sober, his work has been more serious and confessional in tone.

Album discography

  • The Hybrid (2010)
  • XXX (2011)
  • Old (2013)
  • Atrocity Exhibition (2016)
  • U Know What I'm Sayin? (2019)
  • Scaring the Hoes (2023, with JPEGMafia)
  • Quaranta (2023)

Put a cup up, put a four up in it, sixes on that Chevy with some tropes in it:

  • Addled Addict: "Downward Spiral" is a vivid portrait of this.
    I'm sweating like I'm in a rave, been in this room for three days
    I think I'm hearing voices, paranoid and think I'm seeing ghost-es, oh shit...
  • Badass Boast: He gives some really good boasts in his less self-loathing material.
    You have no clue like toy stores without board games
    But when I paint pictures I'm dipping brushes in war paint
  • Black Comedy: This line from "30" is Danny Brown's take on comedic abortion:
    Fucked a pregnant bitch, she saved money on her abortion!
  • Boastful Rap: Quite a few straight examples, though he also subverts it frequently to show the flaws of his self-destructive lifestyle.
  • Comedy Rap: Most of his lyrics are not meant to be taken seriously, which is lost by some people. When it comes to his non-comedy fare, however, most of it is dead serious, frequently to the point of severe Mood Whiplash.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Danny Brown uses fuck very fucking liberally and in every grammatical context.
  • Concept Album: XXX has a loose conceptual theme, with the early tracks being hedonistic Boastful Rap about sex, drugs, and self-aggrandizing that gradually becomes more and more self-aware and insecure before shifting to stark and honest songs about uncontrolled addiction, urban poverty, and the inevitable outcomes of self-destructive escapist lifestyles.
  • Darker and Edgier: Atrocity Exhibition is darker and more manic than the preceding Old.
  • Dark Reprise: "30" is this to "XXX"; the latter is a boastful but insecure and self-aware mission statement, while the former is a terrified and desperate plea for everything to finally come together because he is all out of other options, and he audibly breaks down on the final few bars.
  • Death by Music Video: Anthropomorphic drugs stab Danny to death in "Ain't It Funny."
  • Distinct Double Album: Old. The first half is a mix of The Hybrid and XXX sound-wise and mostly sticks to personal, introspective lyrical themes, while the second half is devoted to what could best be described as twisted party/club anthems with heavy grime and dancehall influences.
  • Foreign Language Title: As immediately stated by the opening track, Quaranta means "forty" in Italian.
  • Lighter and Softer: uknowhatimsayin¿ is more toned down compared to Atrocity Exhibition.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: He has a fairly wide vocal range, going from his trademark squawk all the way down to a deep baritone, to the point where he can sound like two different people on the same song.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Also a Punny Name, the album name XXX refers to Danny Brown's age at the time, the party boy lyrics that comes off as a midlife crisis, and, of course, the content.
    • Old seems to be both a nod at a continuation of this theme and a response to fans of The Hybrid who kept calling for the "old Danny Brown". Old is both a continuation of XXX (with one party half and a more somber half) and a call back to the more serious The Hybrid. Ironically, The Hybrid would be a more apt title.
  • Mood Whiplash: XXX made an artform out of whiplash, frequently alternating between over-the-top comedic sex raps and incredibly dark, depressing, and deeply personal fare.
  • Motor Mouth: Danny himself occasionally delves into this ("Kush Coma" is a good example), but Scrufizzer's guest spot on "Dubstep" is ludicrously fast and exceedingly difficult to follow even with the lyrics handy.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: "25 Bucks", in which Danny describes starting to deal drugs out of necessity as his family's life falls apart and his mother is unable to keep it together.
  • Punny Title: "Jenn's Terrific Vacation" = gentrification.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Compared to his earlier releases, XXX comes off as outrageous. "I Will" epitomizes this by being a whole song about cunnilingus.
  • Sampling:
    • "Side a (Old)" is a somewhat meta example, since the title track has a sample from "New Era", the third track from the Hybrid.
    • Played straight with "Dip", off of Old, which samples Freak Nasty's "Da Dip".
  • Shout-Out: Atrocity Exhibition is named after the song by Joy Division.
  • The Stoner: I'm smoking blunt after blunt after blunt...
  • Stylistic Suck: "Radio Song" features a beat so phoned-in that for the most part, it sounds mechanically generated. It's combined with lyrics about bland commercial chart-toppers.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Grown Up" and "Thank God", all of uknowhatimsayin¿, and most of Quaranta are chiller compared to the rest of his more manic music.
  • Take That!: In "30," Danny Brown inadvertently insults people who would later jump on the XXX bandwagon:
    Dropped a couple mixtapes on the net
    And niggas tried to front like it wasn't all that
    But guess what bitch I'm coming back
    Guess what bitch I'm coming back
  • Uncommon Time: Most of the instrumentals Danny raps over on Atrocity Exhibition are incredibly odd and somewhat even clash with his flow, but special mention goes to "Pneumonia" and "Golddust".
  • Villainous Gentrification: The topic of "Jenn's Terrific Vacation," where Danny describes seeing black people get evicted from their homes and crack houses turned into Starbucks. Doubly as powerful when you remember that Danny is from Detroit and lived through the city's worst years.


Video Example(s):


Ain't it Funny

Drug addict Uncle Danny gets killed by his vices, literally.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnthropomorphicVice

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