In a candid interview, Danny Brown discusses how his upcoming project "Old" will be heavier than "XXX". He also discusses Chief Keef calling him "punk rock".
Detroit is a city that has never stopped making great music, and currently the D has a talented crop of rappers coming out, but unfortunately they are not getting huge shine except from the true heads. The poster child for non-mainstream Detroit bad boy hip hop is Danny Brown, an artist that is unique and very open about his use of illicit substances.
Recently in an interview with Pitchfork the 313 rapper, who is popping up all over the internet these days, talked about his next project Old, and how it will differ from XXX, and contain comedy but be an overall more serious effort. Regarded as unhinged himself, Brown lists Chief Keef as one of his favorite rappers out right now, and calls his style “punk rock”, and even jokes about Keef’s older material, “I thought he was about to pop up out of nowhere with a hoodie on and shoot me.”
Check out some choice excerpts from the interview below.
Pitchfork: XXX sounded very specifically and consciously sequenced to form a narrative, did you approach the making of Old in the same way?
Danny Brown: I always try to act like I'm some old school artist from the 1960s, so I approached this album like I was making it for vinyl: There's a side A and a side B. The way I look at it, I've always been two different artists anyway; I do that underground hip-hop shitand that turned-up trap shit. XXX told a story, so I wanted this one to be like "Curb Your Enthusiasm"-- it's random and all over the place, but by the end it comes together.
Pitchfork: Would you consider yourself a perfectionist?
DB: A perfectionist is someone like Dr. Dre or Kanye-- they'll take one song and do 50 takes. I go with my first take for every song. I want to capture a feeling. If I say a word wrong, fuck it. I am a perfectionist as far as listening to it, though. If I'm over a song two weeks after I made it, I'm not going to put it out. It has to last months.
Pitchfork: You recently said that Old would be "less funny" than XXX-- but a good deal of XXX isn't very funny.
DB: With XXX, I was trying to make a comedy that also had a lot of drama. This one is just like mad drama [laughs]-- to the point where shit is so fucked up that you need a release. You can't just keep dwelling on how fucked up shit is because that ain't going to do nothing but make you feel depressed, so you gotta just say "fuck it" and take drugs and party.
Pitchfork: Who are some of your favorite rappers out right now?
DB: Kendrick Lamar and everyone from TDE. I love what A$AP Rocky's doing. And, of course, Chief Keef. I listen to him the most. [laughs] I like his older mixtapes a little better though, because old Chief Keef scared me-- I thought he was about to pop up out of nowhere with a hoodie on and shoot me. But I'm not really scared of Finally Rich.
My favorite song of his is "Laughing to the Bank" [laughs]. That's some Sex Pistols-type shit. Remember when everybody said that Odd Future was punk rock? To me, Chief Keef is totally punk rock. Like, the melodies he uses on his album-- it's like he's not even rapping no more, he's just singing. You could swap those synths and keyboards with guitars and fucking crazy drums and he'll be a rock star.