Eclectic Rapper Danny Brown Excels on “uknowhatimsayin”


Danny Brown is an eclectic rap figure. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Sam Hadelman, Contributing Writer

Danny Brown is no stranger to critical acclaim. His past works, like “XXX” and “Atrocity Exhibition,” showcased his eclectic ear that has contributed to the larger than life persona he is known for today.

Brown is comfortable with a lack of limelight, and he uses this to his advantage. He exists in this pocket of hip-hop that is generally geared towards older, more experienced listeners, which gives him the ability to create beyond the bounds of what is current. He truly is in his own lane, and it is gleamingly obvious on this new LP.

Every project that Brown delivered in recent years has been a completely different and unique array of his depressive and nihilistic content. His ability to flow over any type of production has resulted in some of rap’s most unconventional yet well-crafted moments in modern memory.

Though in the past his work was at times too scattered for cohesion, on this record, with the help of executive producer Q-Tip, Brown nails down the formula for quality on “uknowwhatimsayin.”

Q-Tip, Paul White and JPEGMAFIA provide Brown with some of the best beats of his career on this LP, creating a soundscape that Brown effortlessly maneuvers through.

The difference between this album and his past work is apparent upon taking an intimate look at the lyrical content. In Brown’s earlier albums “XXX” and “Atrocity Exhibition,” there was an aire of desperation attached.

There was little to no hope for the listener to latch on to, with the result being records filled with despair and dread.

On this album, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Though the record still leaves you with some of the haunting sentiments frequent in his past work, his newfound success leads him to deliver a perspective along the path of redemption.

Danny Brown is completely necessary in today’s hip-hop world, and he exemplifies that on this record.

His grounds in traditional hip-hop and experimental production create the most masterful moments on this album.

In regards to technicality, he is at his sharpest. Songs like “Dirty Laundry” show off his exquisite flows and lyrics. He does not let up throughout the whole album, a testament to his talent and ability.

With only a few features on the album, all of which adding to the continuity of the record, it is an utterly personal product from Brown.

We have not heard a lot from him in between this project and “Atrocity Exhibition,” and a lot has changed since then.

He went from being a niche rapper that mostly existed on Reddit to a top-tier main act in the older hip-hop crowd.

On some scale, he has gotten bigger and finally garnered the success he never felt he would achieve, and I think that is what lead to the positive aftertaste this project brings.

Danny Brown has been weaving through hip-hop fan communities for years, and on this record he has finally solidified himself as a legendary veteran.

Brown has come through with one of the most well-rounded projects of the year and it is completely refreshing.

In a world where your average rapper is not old enough to have his permit, it is revitalizing to have a seasoned star in the sport deliver a project that speaks to one’s true potential.