Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Song of the Day #321 - Danny Brown - When It Rain

Oh you ain't know that did you?

Awww yeah, new Danny Brown. It's been way way too long since 2013's Old, and, unlike many other rappers who stay in the public conscious through mixtape spam or hopping on every big track with guest verse, he holds a lot of his development close to his chest. Sure, he does guest verses occasionally, but those sub-minute Danny-blasts aren't really part of his "narrative" as much as singular expressions of his core essence... that unique relentless-manic-degeneracy blitz. It isn't until he tackles an album length project that we truly see the new form of Danny, the complete picture of the only human imaginable that could withstand this madness.

The Hybrid saw the emergence of his sound, XXX brought him to the end of his rope but also maybe a loop in the middle, and Old had him ruminating on the surprising longevity of a life in perpetual crisis/epiphany. So what story could his untitled fourth album tell? I can only think of it as a sort of... transcendental Danny. He's signed to Warp records, which doesn't make any sense until you remember Attak and then it becomes the best news unimaginable. Danny can basically handle any sort of beat, any sort of EDM song played as a beat, basically any sequence of noises. He can handle aesthetics from whatever this is to whatever this is. I mean we were talking about this just a bit ago!

Man, just looking those up makes me think I ought to do Danny Brown on Song of the Day basically every day. When it rains, it pours. And in the ambiguity of that phrase, there's a microcosm of the duality that drives all of his music. At this point you think he'd stop being able to shock me, but pretty much everything did, right from the demented music video, perfectly capturing the feeling of strung out channel flipping at 3AM. And that beat, so sinister, so chillingly minimal all the way until the hook, lead with that "where have I heard it"-core sample (it was Freddie Gibbs' Real, just fyi), it feels like some component of your brain being extracted via electricity.

And that process seems like the only sensible way to explain the torrent coming out of Danny's mouth. Just look at all this! I love how after this titanic first verse, he breaks into what seems like it might be the hook, with a bit of repetition and the title drop, but then just breaks into something even harder. And then when he gets into the "you ain't heard it like this before" part, and you're sure that's the hook, cause the beat really came in, but NAH, he goes even FURTHER in, with the TRUE hook, which sounds like the pre-hook stuffed full of stimulants. I can't even get to the content, the very fact that he finds words that can suit this sort of flow is amazing in itself. He has that sort of "vocabulary overload" flow that I love, where just the sheer variety of syllables and sounds is enough to engross you, but when you dive down into it, the intense story of desperation waiting for you is even more enthralling. Prime Danny.

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