Classics: Danny Brown

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So I’ve recently had the pleasure of interviewing Detroit rapper Danny Brown… if you don’t know him yet, please believe that you will soon, cause the boy got bars. From having a track on Jay Stay Paid, to working with the likes of Elzhi, Quelle, Marvwon, and others, Danny Brown is holding his own in this hip hop shit, so you should know about him… if you don’t already. Check this shit out…

Danny Brown, Danny Tanner, Danny the Hybrid… how would you like to be referred to? …and can you give me a brief run down of who you are, where you’re from, and what you do for those assholes that don’t already know.

Just Danny is cool with me… if you know me good enough Daniel, but… I ain’t really trippin’ on your nick names. Just don’t call me wack. I’m from Detroit, and umm… I rap. And… umm… I like video games.

(laughter ensues)

 I’m just a rapper.

Another rapper from the D… shocking. So, what makes you different from every other amazing rapper from the D? …or are you different?

I think… (what makes me different is) just because I am different. I mean, I’m not saying that they’re not different (other Detorit rappers), but most of them just got like a certain image or a certain style that they just have to do, you know? I think I just have to do… whatever I want. I don’t put limitations on myself, you know? Pretty much, like… say they’re a super underground, hip hop, Detroit artist… under the J Dilla influence – if they wanted to do a song with Soulja Boy, then it would be like (weird)… you know what I’m sayin’? But I could probably do it, and people would be like, ‘Aight, he’s just Danny’, you know?

Aight ‘just Danny’… who influences you? Who has helped make ‘just Danny’ the person that he is? Musically speaking of course…

I can say Nas… and then it goes to someone like Dizzee Rascal. Then like, E-40… those are my biggest influences. Wu-Tang too… that’s pretty much it for my biggest influences. …MF DOOM too.

Fair enough.  So where are you right now? What are you doing? Sorry if that came off as creepy, I just like to get a feel for the random shit…

I’m in LA chillin’… watchin’ Slum Dog Millionaire.

Wait… while you’re doing this interview? …you know what, nevermind. Instead, tell me who is getting a lot of play from you right now? Wait… lemme rephrase that. Who are you listening to right now? I hear you don’t even listen to all that much rap. Which I understand, because rap sucks… but, if I were to push play on your MP3 player right now, what would I hear?

Right now I’m listening to Lil B a lot. I kinda like Yelawolf a little bit… I dunno, that’s pretty much it. I just listen to Lil B. …and I listen to Yelawolf.

I like Fever Ray. Yeah. I like Fever Ray a lot, and I like… I’ve been getting’ into Animal Collective. I liked the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s last album… I’d never heard that, and it’s extremely dope. It’s kinda old now though, and I just got up on it. And yeah… that’s pretty much it. Fever Ray though… I didn’t know how good that number was.

Enough about your idea of what’s good… In MY opinion, as much as I love Contra (and talk about it virtually every day, not to mention listening to it repeatedly), I think Head is my favorite song of yours… (I’m a girl, so sue me) What is your favorite song of yours? Why?

That’s like… a weird question. I can’t really just say that – like, if I have a favorite song (of mine). But I guess it would probably be Dillabot vs. The Hybrid. That was just like my comin’ out party, you know? A lot of people knew about me but… I got more respect and shit from off that. It was like a good look, so… it showed that if you give me a good look than I’ll knock the ball out the park. You know what I’m sayin’?

Speaking of Dilla… Considering you are on that track with him, I’m morbidly curious to know the answer to this one…Who’s the one artist you would like to work with most that you have yet to?

Wow… artist that I would like to work with that I haven’t… I always pick Jack White when I get asked that question. So I would say Jack White would be it. Most of the people I’ve wanted to work with… I’ve worked with. So it’s like, I gotta… you gotta set your goals kinda… too high. Where you can’t reach’em. That’s like on of them big, too high goals.

…okay. Favorite MCs?

My favorite MCs right now… umm… Quelle and Crown Nation, of course like, everybody else. Danny Swain… I like The Cool Kids a lot… Ummm… yeah, that’s pretty much it.

That’s pretty much it. …I didn’t say Lil B? I like Lil B a lot so… Lil B is like the new Too $hort right now to me. I’m heavily influenced by Too $hort so…

Sounding unreasonably unconvinced, I interrupted with: Lil B is like the new …Too $hort?

I really don’t like music that your parents – like, you know how hip hop got kinda soft? Like, you can listen to hip hop with your grandma and shit. There ain’t too much shock value in it. Versus like… Lil B. It’s not something you can listen to with like… an older person, you know what I’m sayin’?

(laughter ensues)

A lot of people came up with Too Live Crew, and were like, ‘this shit is wack as fuck’, but after years on it, it’s like, wow, you really understand now what they did back then. It’s dope. Like, real shock value… nothin’ fake – where you talkin’ about eatin’ up babies or some shit like that. You know what I’m sayin’? Something just that simple, as a nigga sayin’, ‘I fuck bitches every time I can’.

You gotta have all of it… and I like that. I like that, because that’s what I was raised on. My momma used to tell me to cut that shit off… steal tapes from me and shit like that, you know? That’s why I say some of the shit I say… for the little kid that’s gonna piss his moms off. It’s not for the little kid that’s gonna vibe to the song with his mom. Like, cause his mom like it too. This (music) ain’t for yo’ momma. Like… you know what I’m sayin’? It’s for the little niggas. The young niggas. 

Understood. …speaking of young niggas – you’ve come a long way from Cocaine Cowboys (even though you’re still pretty young)… What’s on deck for Danny Brown? Tell me about what’s in the works… projects? Collabs? Album? Burgeoning career in the adult film industry? (yeah, I read your tweets)

I’m just finishing up The Hybrid. …it’s almost done. I’ve been working with Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest. He’s sort of like my mentor right now. He’s just been helping me, teaching me and shit, so… that’s pretty much it.

Who is one rapper who you really don’t get? The one that, when people talk about how much they love them, you think they’re fuckin’ crazy?

You said… a rapper that I think sucks?

Umm… I can’t really say anybody, because… like, music is music. It’s really your self expression. What you think is wack, another person thinks is good.

So, I really don’t listen to too much – a lot of new rappers… I really don’t be like, ‘that shit is wack, won’t nobody listen to that shit’, you know what I’m sayin’? I’m tryin’ to think hard, but… everything I come up with in my head, I can figure out why somebody would listen to it. Like, (I could think of) what type of person would listen to some shit like that. So, I really can’t say that. It’s not nothin’ out there that’s just so wack to me where, I cannot listen to it… cannot understand why somebody would like it.

I can kinda understand all aspects of hip hop. I can kinda understand it all… and I kinda like it all, so… That’s a good question too. I’m tryin’ to think… like, it just hasn’t been somethin’ that I’ve hated on in a while.

I remember when Gucci Mane first, first came out … I’m talkin’ bout when he came out with ‘So Icey’. I thought that was wack, but, obviously Gucci Mane’s not wack now if you look at it – what’s he’s done, you know what I’m sayin’? So… I really don’t… I can’t say that. I really wanna answer that question too. I’m tryin’ hard to think…

I interjected with …eyebrow raised in the most skeptical voice ever… Why do you think Gucci Mane’s not wack?

Because he can kinda rap… it’s just that his accent is so crazy. Gucci is one of the real ones… you know what I’m sayin’? I think that inspires a lot of people – to do good in some sense, because he came from the same shit that niggas is goin’ through, and look what he’s doing… So that might make a nigga be like ‘Man, Imma try somethin’ else…’ you know? It’s really positive, if you look at it. Yeah, he talks about his negative experiences… to show people what type of person a person can become. People can change their life… cause obviously he’s not doin’ the same thing no more, you know what I’m sayin’? He gettin’ into rapper trouble now… but that’s not street trouble, you know what I’m sayin’? So… I can’t really hate on it.

I’m really tryin’ to think of something that I hate. Like… who do I really just HATE? Like… ugh. Who fuckin’ sucks? Like… I would say somebody like Flo Rida – but then I see why people like Flo Rida too, you know what I’m sayin’?

WOW. No. …but, yeah.

I can see why people like that. That’s good fun, techno, Miami, spring break… ‘I’m white from fuckin’ Illinois, on vacation, Imma go ham on some Flo Rida right now… I don’t care what he said, the beat sound good! …I’m drunk, we dancin’…’ It’s got its purpose, you see what I’m sayin’?

(intense laughter breaks out from both parties)

I’m still tryin’ to think of somebody that really sucks. …Won-G sucks.

…who?

You don’t remember him? Did the video with Paris Hilton in it? I’m not alright with that… that shit is wack. You know? YOU KNOW? That’s my answer.

(…continued laughter)

Uh… on that note. What should the world know about Danny the Hybrid? Anything at all, from the random to the completely inappropriate, to the boring…   

I’m just… you know, happy that people enjoy my music. I’m just tryin’ to… you know, make people smile… that’s all. I’m just about (being) positive and being good and happy.

REALLY? …okay.

Yeah, I mean it feels good to make you laugh. I don’t wanna make you feel bad, you know? Even if I’m talking about bad situations, I’m still putting some humor and comedy in it, you know? You gotta laugh at the bad shit man… that’s how we get through it. That’s it pretty much.

So that concludes my interview with Danny ‘I love kittens’ Brown (you said you wasn’t trippin’ off nick names… you can’t take that back now). Hopefully you learned a little something, and will check this dude out if you haven’t already. Look for The Hybrid, which will hopefully be out sometime soon, and in the mean time, check out some of his other shit, like Hot Soup and/or Browntown. Not to mention the track he is on with J Dilla on Jay Stay Paid entitled Dillabot vs. The Hybrid. Peace!

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