Danny Brown ‘Old’ Album Review

Danny Brown- Old

Danny Brown returns to his roots with his label debut ‘Old’ but also satisfies the tastes of his new fans as well with this ‘double’ album. Old is literally split between ‘Side A’ and ‘Side B’ showing the dichotomy of Danny Brown on one full length LP. It loosely follows his life chronologically with the track listing. It’s easy to miss the point with Danny Brown if you don’t truly listen. His appearance and demeanor can have far weather surface level fans thinking he is one thing when he really isn’t. Many people box in Danny Brown artistically and have this one dimensional view of his music “Old” makes sure you know the truth. It begins with nothing but reality and struggle as Brown opens up and documents his hardships. “The Return” quickly reminds the listener “don’t get it fucked up I’m a hood ass nigga” “25 Bucks” displays the everyday hustles inner city folk must do to make ends meet in the hood. “Wonderbread” is basically a nursery type rhyme explaining the hardships in the hood and the animosity that brews in a lot of people living in harsh conditions. “Gremlins” takes this concept even farther. After going through “Torture” Brown is eventually “Red 2 Go”, enter “Side B”. The second half the album is the turn up/rock star portion. “Dip” the leading single for the album is a hypnotic turn up anthem accompanied by a psychedelic video. As the album turns up so does the pitch in Brown’s voice, the voice most people are familiar with appears in full force for the next 7 songs, after excessive drinking, drug use and twerking the album closes with “Float On” a melancholy, but yet optimistic song about Brown’s future and direction.

Rating 7.5/10

Amongst The Myriad: Dan Charnas – The Big Payback

Dan Charnas- The Big Payback (The History of the Business of Hip-Hop)

This bible sized book is literally a chronological tale of the growth and evolution of Hip-Hop from conception to full fledged global cultural tidal wave. With a topic this vast a book this big will always to tell to much and not enough at the same exact time simply due to its length. The grand detail and overall story arc covers so much and at the same time may leave the reader wanting more or wonder why in such great detail their favorite obscure artist was overlooked or skimmed past. This is a great book for any true fan of the culture; it may be too much for someone who is just learning about the rich history of Hip-Hop. If the reader doesn’t know who the Beastie Boys are then the detailed story of their discovery and signing to famed Def Jam label may seem like excess. Perhaps the origins of the Wu-Tang Clan may not appeal to fans born in the mid 90’s and raised on “old school” acts like G-Unit (something new comer Chief Keef actually said before about G-Unit). Stories of Ed Lover and the earlier days of Yo MTV Raps and Hip-Hop’s commercial break through to mainstream American television may almost seem like fiction to a younger audience. The entire book is broken up into albums, side A and B included for authentic vinyl heads, and runs all the way up to the present Kanye West days. For those who want to get a better grasp of how Hip-Hop got to become the global force that it is today I definitely recommend this book.

Run The Jewels ‘Run The Jewels’ Album Review

Killer Mike and El-P follow their critically acclaimed collaborative effort “R.A.P. Music” in a slightly different way. This time around El-P picks up the mic as Killer Mike’s tag-team partner in rhyme along with handling production. Together they make up the group Run The Jewels and bring Hip Hop back to it’s hardcore beginnings with this menacing free album. Filled with dark humor, hardcore rhymes, dangerous beats and intelligent insight ‘Run The Jewels’ is an album which fully makes use of all the ten tracks. Keeping it short and impactful, Killer Mike and El-P eliminate any unnecessary filler. The only two guest appearances are from southern legend Big Boi on “Banana Clipper” and Long Island legend Prince Paul on the hilarious “Twin Hype Back”. This album is more than just hardcore rhyme after hardcore rhyme on the tracks “Sea Legs” and “A Christmas Fucking Miracle” El-P and Mike both bare it all, and speak on their personal internal struggles as well as universal struggles and odds we all collectively face. “Job Well Done” has both MCs blacking out and El-P delivering one of the best verses on the album with a detailed account of the world going haywire over the release of this new project. “Never Come Down” is more than just a drug binge turned into a song, Killer Mike spits arguably another one of the albums best verses, flawlessly mixing strip clubs, ancient Egyptian tales, molly, and the rare “Black Madonna”.

Rating 8.3/10

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