Yeah the hair is crazy. The smile is crooked. The gap is wide. But don’t let his appearance fool you. Danny Brown is a real hip-hop nigga. An ex D-Boy from The D with more styles than your favorite MC. Having a full satisfied listen to Old will make you feel like your listening to four or five different rappers but when it’s all said and done, it’s mostly Danny on the mic.
The content is equally weighty. The album subtly follows a story arc. The first half is mostly composed of Danny spitting in a more traditional style about his tough upbringing in the Motor City. “Side A (Old)” is a gritty fast-paced roller coaster ride. “Torture” paints disturbing pictures of family distress while on the nimbly soulful “Lonely”, Danny states his case on his artistic duality: “Hipster by heart but I can tell you how the streets feel”.
After bidding adieu to hustling on the celebratory “Dope Song”, Danny lays off the substance tunes and gets into some fun shit. Bring in the drugs! The mollys are flowing on the “Dip”; guest A$AP Rocky gets twisted on the jolting “Kush Coma” and Ab-Soul joints the party to terrorize the female species on “Way Up Here”.
Mr. Brown comes back down to Earth on the album’s amazing closer, “Float On”. Over inviting chords, Danny delves into his desire to be recognized as one of hip-hop most impactful artists: “Pray I get old just to hear I been the future/Just to see my influence in this genre of music”. Originality wins. And it never gets old. — YN