Consumer Guide Album
Danny Brown: Old [Fool's Gold, 2013]
"They want the old Danny Brown," begins "Side A (Old)." So he executes a straight street-dealing rhyme like the ex-con he is, tells us how seven-year-old Danny got stomped by fiends on a trip to the store, and pairs off two lookbacks as convincing as anything in the hood-life literature--"25 Bucks," where his mom braids hair on the stairs for their supper, only then there's "Torture," where one fiend beats another with a hammer and another has pit bulls loosed on her pussy. "Side B (Dope Song)" begins with his very last, yeah sure, dope song before dealing up some of hip-hop's most detailed porn--Brown is the rare rapper for whom sex is about pleasure not power, flesh not hot air. But the climax is "Kush Coma," which is about what it says it's about and rides an eerie synth sustain to prove it. And the clincher is Ab-Soul's cameo on "Way Up Here," because Ab-Soul is a top-tier rapper who in this context you barely notice. That's how musical Brown's flow has become since the sing-song boilerplate he started out with.