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Danny Brown

Detroit rapper Danny Brown embraces his unique hood/hipster personality, takes full advantage of social media, and -- fueled by his experiences with drug dealing and drug taking, as well as a wicked sense of humor -- has delivered some of the most vivid, vulgar, and side-splitting rhymes of his era. The eccentric's most notable releases include the Billboard 200 Top 20 entry Old (Fool's Gold, 2013) and the Warp-released albums Atrocity Exhibition (2016) and uknowhatimsayin¿ (2019), projects bolstered by production from the likes of Paul White, Oh No, Black Milk, the Alchemist, and Q-Tip. Brown teamed up with the ever-frenetic JPEGMAFIA for the 2023 collaborative release Scaring the Hoes, which also cracked the charts. The long-delayed Quaranta arrived later in the year. Brown (real last name: Sewell) surfaced during the mid-2000s as a member of Reser'vor Dogs. The group advanced far enough to get the attention of the Roc-A-Fella label. A deal was not struck, but an A&R rep assisted Brown with the recording and release of a mixtape, Detroit State of Mind. New York recording sessions placed him in the company of several contemporaries, including G-Unit's Tony Yayo. In 2010, Yayo and Brown released Hawaiian Snow, while Brown also released The Hybrid, among other mixtapes, such as additional volumes of the Detroit State of Mind series. While it was rumored that Brown would be signing to G-Unit, label head 50 Cent allegedly balked due to the rapper's fashion sense (which included a preference for skinny jeans). Brown eventually found a home at Fool's Gold, where he issued XXX, his highest-profile mixtape up to that point. At the end of 2012, he announced that its follow-up had been recorded. Originally titled ODB, it was continually pushed back by the label, with Brown tweeting in August 2013 that he would consider leaking the release. In October, the retitled album, Old, appeared with Paul White and Oh No among the producers, while A$AP Rocky and ScHoolboy Q contributed guest verses. A surprise hit, it entered the Billboard 200 at number 18. After he provided the theme for the U.S. television sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, Brown signed with Warp and made his label debut in 2016 with "When It Rain." The single's parent album, Atrocity Exhibition, was issued later in the year with White as the principal producer, augmented by contributions from the Alchemist and Black Milk, among others. In October 2019, a couple months after the debut of his Viceland talk show Danny's House, Brown returned with his second album for Warp, uknowhatimsayin¿, the majority of which was produced by Q-Tip. The album was critically lauded, and reached the 134 position of the Billboard Top 200 chart. In 2021, Brown appeared as a featured guest on songs by Payday and BROCKHAMPTON, while readying his next album Quaranta. Before that solo album materialized, Brown worked with JPEGMAFIA on joint album Scaring the Hoes. The album was produced entirely by JPEGMAFIA utilizing a hardware sampler to make the beats rather than the usual digital audio workstations of modernized production. The album was highly experimental and reached the 84 slot of the Billboard Top 200 charts shortly after its March 2023 release. Brown's next solo album Quaranta, which means 40 in Italian, was released in November 2023. Meant as something of a companion album to XXX, the introspective record marks the rapper's fortieth year on the planet and features production by the likes of Alchemist and Quelle Chris along with guests including MIKE, Bruiser Wolf, and Kassa Overall.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo


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