It’s taken me a while to become a Danny Brown fan, you could even say I’m not fully there yet. While he doesn’t necessarily have the rhymes that typically draw me in to most rap music, his style, attitude and especially vocal delivery is so unique that you have to give him a shot. He reminds me of what Ol’ Dirty Bastard might have sounded like if he lived into the 2010s and adapted somewhat of a “crunk” style to his delivery. This album is similar to his previous XXX (that’s Roman numeral for 30, not porno, although his lyrics do tend to get graphic like that) album in that it’s split into two halves with different vibes, except here he’s more forward about it, naming the first song “Side A” and another at the halfway point “Side B”. Another difference is where XXX started with a fun party vibe before getting serious, Old starts off with that more authentic, serious Danny Brown before he gets into that wild party music he’s become famous for in the second half.
As a whole, this album really flows nicely. It starts off with a theme of working hard to get into a position where you can relax and party a bit, reflects back on the rough grind before getting into that wild party vibe, and then ends with that lightheaded feeling you get with a hangover the next day. Danny Brown sounds just as good here as he did on XXX, with one of the most versatile vocal deliveries in the current hip-hop landscape; going from one song to the next he can sound like a completely different rapper depending on his approach. The guest features complement Danny Brown nicely too, with ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and A$AP Rocky having similar “swag” heavy styles to Danny, and Freddie Gibbs bringing that toughness to match up with him. Overall Danny Brown is 2 for 2 regarding albums of his which I’ve heard, this one showing improvement in production and sequencing.
My Grade (based on how well I connected with it, no disrespect if your experience was different): B
Come back to my blog tomorrow to see which album or mixtape came in at #18 on the countdown!