Danny Brown is a Detroit-bound alternative rapper who has been releasing albums since 2008, but nothing has come close to how wild and insane his new record Atrocity Exhibition is.
Atrocity Exhibition starts out with “Downward Spiral,” a song that has a strong resemblance to Brown’s introduction to his previous album from 2011, XXX, talking about paranoia and how your worst nightmare is his normal dream, and showing that this is definitely not going to be a normal rap album.
With these first few tracks being a little more calmed down, Atrocity Exhibition instantly picks up with the fiery track that was featured as a single “Really Doe,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, and Ab-Soul.
With these four individuals together, the song is like the auditory version of the four horsemen rushing into the Armageddon, where they each have a little quirk to their style of rapping that makes them different from everyone else, whether it’s Earl Sweatshirt’s blunt and aggressive tone or Danny Brown’s comical and almost cartoonish inflections and attitude.
No matter which way this track is being looked at through my eyes, all I had to say in the end was, “Wow.”
Another highlight that shows like a bright light was definitely “Ain’t it Funny,” with its glitch-filled instrumental that I could see fitting into an album by someone like Death Grips, where the dichotomy of chaos and order starts to mash together until they become one big piece of insane ear-candy.
In songs like “White Lines,” and “Pneumonia,” the whole hip-hop lifestyle narrative is brought back, but instead of just bringing back these stereotypes and mildly showing them, they cranked up the meter to 11, taking these clichés about the life of women, drugs, alcohol, and money so vivid that it’s like Brown is dragging you into the so-called hip-hop lifestyle that is being projected.
While giving you these images, you start to sing along and feel like you are in a room full of these temptations right within your reach, and it’s not hard to get a song like “Pneumonia” stuck in your head with how catchy of a chorus it has.
Even after these insanity-filled tracks, Brown still doesn’t fall in his quality, with a song like “From the Ground,” which is still pretty great, even though they are much more composed and controlled then previous tracks.
Overall, this album is what I needed from Danny Brown, especially after a three-year hiatus of his music, and an even longer time since an album that is as crazy as Atrocity Exhibition.