[Music] XXX – Danny Brown [2011]


 

XXXAlbum: XXX

Artist: Danny Brown

Released: August 15, 2011

Rating: 8.3/10

Out of all the many genres of music out there, rap is notoriously a young man’s game. Danny Brown who was 30 when he released XXX,his sophomore effort and first solo album, is not ignorant of this fact. The album’s very name is a clever reference to his age as well as the illicit nature of its content. For far too long, Brown has been as the quintessential party rapper, with the occasional hot song with catchy beats and smooth lines, an artist whose main attraction was his legendary drug use rather than his art. There is no denying that there is a big pool of talent lying seemingly dormant beneath the veneer of the permanently intoxicated rapper but if it were to emerge it would have to be sooner rather than later because at 30, Brown’s career only had so much life left in it. It was out of these circumstances that XXX was born and the thought process behind it is abundantly clear – it covers exactly the kind of subject matter that fans of Brown’s party tracks would gravitate to, but it also provides a more emotional and mature take on life that would sit well on a wider range of palettes. The album, released three years ago, has not proved to be a modern day success but nevertheless achieved enough critical and commercial success to put its creator on the collective hiphop hivemind’s radar. XXX is an album of two halves, modelled after a typical drug trip. The first half of the album is an energetic high as we get a window into hedonism and debauchery. The production brings each consecutive track to a slightly higher level by bringing in increasingly more distorted electro themes to Brown’s recollections of his sexual exploits and drug fuelled episodes. Danny himself seems extremely comfortable, moving from punchline to punchline with a veteran’s ease – though he’s been in the business for years, it’s all too easy to forget that this is his first solo effort. The tracks ‘I Will’ and ‘Pac Blood’ particularly stand out as the best blends of Brown’s delivery and excellent production of a small group of producers including SKYWLKER, brandUn DeShay and Paul White. The songs in this half of the album are not all about just drugs and women however; the track ‘Radio Song’ makes a few noteworthy points about the increasingly commercial nature of the music industry while ‘Adderall Admiral’ provides the perfect transition to the mellower, emotionally rawer second half of the album. The energy from the first half dies down to a steadier level as the music becomes darker and the lyrical content begins to explore the some of the darker consequences of the lifestyle that Danny highlights in the first half. That is not to say, however, that the album is divided so simplistically into a ‘fun’ and ‘serious’ half respectively since both sides show how Danny’s thirty years alive have shown him a variety horrors and joys, some awarded to him by life but most that he delivered to himself. The second half, though, is much more sober and as such has a clearer sound and its lyrical messages have better delivery compared to the relatively manic energy of the first half particularly tracks like ‘Fields’ and ‘Party All The Time’. XXX is a surprisingly personal album in which Brown opens up to the pressures he faced growing up and compares them to the pressures that he continues to feel even to this day. The title track ‘XXX’ and the closing track ‘30’ form an elegant duality in that both tracks represent two sides of Danny Brown and capture the perfect snapshot of Brown – he has the talent, he knows that he has the talent but he remains haunted by troubles in the past and his current stresses and addictions are keeping him from putting it all together in a single cohesive album. Both tracks end the same way – with Brown hoping that he has finally achieved this with XXX.

Standout Tracks:

XXX I Will Nosebleeds Party All The Time Fields 30

Track Title Producer Rating
XXX Frank Dukes 4.63
Die Like a Rockstar SKYWLKR 4.00
Pac Blood brandUn DeShay 4.25
Radio Song brandUn DeShay 4.38
Lie4 SKYWLKR 4.00
I Will Squadda Bambino 4.75
Bruiser Brigade” (featuring Dopehe SKYWLKR 3.88
Detroit 187″ (featuring Chi Nick Speed 3.75
Monopoly Quelle 4.25
Blunt After Blunt SKYWLKR 3.50
Outer Space SKYWLKR 4.50
Adderall Admiral Paul White 3.63
DNA Frank Dukes 4.25
Nosebleeds DJ House Shoes 4.75
Party All the Time brandUn DeShay 5.00
EWNESW Quelle 4.00
Fields Paul White 5.00
Scrap or Die Paul White 4.13
30 SKYWLKR 4.50

Other Reviews:

Sputnik Music Hiphop DX Pitchfork Wikipedia

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s