by Justin Smith
Danny Brown, an up-and-coming rapper from Detroit, is set to release his third official studio album, “Old” on October 8th. It is currently available for streaming on Spotify. Brown, whose real name is Daniel Sewell, is best know for his eccentricity and individuality, as exemplified in his mainstream hit “Grown Up” from his 2012 album XXX. He is also known for the copious amounts of various drugs he consumes and mentions in his lyrics.
While his previous two albums were more about stories of Brown’s partying, Old delves deeper in to Brown’s personal life and his ongoing internal struggle with his demons. The song “Torture” tells tales of drug deals gone awry and dark parts of his life. Old is also more slowed down and relaxed than his other two albums, where he attacked the listeners with his unique voice and rapid beats. It’s as though Brown is sitting back and letting the album develop itself over the 19 songs. Brown also has several high-profile guests on “Old” such as A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, and Charli XCX.
Before the release of this album, Brown signed a new management deal with Goliath Artists, which represents artists such as Eminem and Blink-182. Brown said Old was different than XXX because “with XXX, you laugh throughout it… This one [Old] when it’s over, you’re laughing hysterically…” Brown said he couldn’t believe he even made an album like this. It’s evident from the first song that this album is very different from his previous two.
Brown definitely has some weak songs on this album, such as “Dope Fiend Rental,” the song he did with Schoolboy Q, which is a song solely about sex. However, when Brown puts a song like this on the album, it’s almost as if it’s comic relief for not only the listener but for Brown himself, especially since “Dope Fiend Rental” is followed by “Torture” which is by far the darkest song on the album. These two songs are complete opposites of each other.
Overall, I would give this album an 8 out of 10. It is a valiant effort by Brown to give us a look into his past and his personal life which he has never given his fans before. However, it certainly comes up short in some aspects. The drug use he talks about, although it is a big part of his life, almost gets to be too much for the listener. He also will go from a few dark songs about drug dealing to a song about sex and partying, and at times it doesn’t flow well within the album. With that said, Brown has created his best album so far with Old and he has certainly shown his fans that his life is not all about partying and having a good time. Brown is certain to keep up his light-hearted raps and party lyrics, but it is nice to see that there is a deeper, darker side to Brown which he is not afraid to explore.