Release of the Week: Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition


On face value, Danny Brown is that perma-stoned rapper from the hood with the cracked front tooth, crazy hair and equally goofy laugh. However, this dude has been killing it on the album fronts over the last few years. Since bursting onto the scene with the release of his ‘xxx’ mixtape back in 2011, Danny Brown’s career has propelled him into dizzying heights as one of the best rappers around today. Infact, it seems the dizzying heights have done something to his head, which he illustrates perfectly on new record Atrocity Exhibition.

‘Downward Spiral’ kicks the record off with Danny proclaiming statements like ‘sweating like I’m in a rave/stuck in this room for 3 days’ and ‘grinding on my teeth so long/it’s swollen up my jaw’ against an instrumental that’s almost complete as various instruments battle one another as they seemingly practice their parts together. This spaced out, not all there sound combines nicely with Danny’s flow, which frantically gets through the airwaves while keeping a paranoid state of mind.

‘Rolling Stone’ sees the rhythm section of drums and bass deliver some sweet grooves which allow Danny to sober up enough to deliver a fast paced spit of some tight bars. Subtle harmonies add a little bit of texture and accessibility to the track, which already heads for the mainstream thanks to it’s strong chorus hook. ‘Really Doe’ is five minutes of pure gritty flow upon flow upon flow, as Danny Brown collabs with Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatsuit to deliver something that hits harder than John McEnroe throwing a tennis racket. It’s dope.

The middle of Atrocity Exhibition sees the true meltdown of Danny Brown. Four tracks all ranging from two to three minutes fill out this section with spaced out atmospheres and ridiculously overblown moments of insanity to recreate my reaction when the delivery guy arrives with pizza. ‘Ain’t It Funny’ in particular is carved with huge walls of horn sections which descends into a stomping instrumental while Danny spits all over it. The repeated shout of the title makes me think this is the point where insanity truly kicks in, but my god what a tune it is.

Atrocity Exhibition is a superb album from Danny Brown. It’s a record that delivers some of the wildest hip hop in recent times, and combines all sorts of instruments together to fulfil it’s sky high expectation. It’s an ambitious record that hits all the right spots, it’s so good.

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