When Danny Brown made his mainstream entrance with 2012’s “XXX”, his intent was about as serious as his lyrics. Jokes about weed and women were rampant, as was the sense that his weirdness would inhibit a potentially long career. Well, we were all wrong. Off the heels of several positive collaborations and a deepening relationship with Fool’s Gold Records, Danny and an impressive roster of producers have created an undeniably brilliant sequel and the potential trademark album of his young career.
“Old” answers any doubts about Danny’s work ethic. Each song is tastefully matched with a beat that ranges from the trap influence on “Handstand” to the aptly named “Dubstep” that feels as soulful as it does to the former.
The variety is truly stunning. When matched up with Purity Ring on “25 Bucks”, the entire song feels like a statement about his future. That Danny Brown is here to stay. On “Kush Coma”, Danny returns to his drug-laden roots with the hook “Kush Coma…I am in a Kush Coma…”, but ups the ante with a perfectly soft hip-hop beat and a few great bars from A$AP Rocky.
There are a number of standout tracks, but overall, the ascendancy of Danny’s talent and profile is the main victor. It’s refreshing to see an emcee of his quality produce such a breathtaking and coherent follow-up to a rather unstable debut (Danny did have a prior mixtape in 2011, but XXX was his major debut). Nonetheless, “Old” is easily one of the best hip-hop releases of the year. It’s the kind of album that has something for everyone, even those in the EDM space. In a crowded year for hip-hop, Danny has risen above the rest not just on quality, but intent too.
"Old" is streaming this week on Spotify ahead of its October 8 release: