Danny Brown’s Q-Tip Produced Song Yields 1 Of The Year’s Weirdest Videos
This month marks three years since Danny Brown’s last album, Atrocity Exhibit. After four solo releases, celebrated mixtapes, and a collaborative catalog that includes Black Milk-assisted project, D.B. is embarking on an exciting close to 2019. The Detroit, Michigan MC’s Uknowhatimsayin¿ is the name of his fifth album. As reported in March, the October 4 LP is executive produced by Q-Tip. Although Tip has been previously planned to oversee collections for artists including Kanye West, this marks the first time he’s done so in Rap, outside of A Tribe Called Quest and solo material, according to Rolling Stone.
“There was no room for error. Q-Tip wanted me to go back to that  ‘Greatest Rapper Ever’ era,” Brown told the publication. “I almost had to relearn how to rap again – an ego-death type thing. He gave me this whole new outlook on music. I can’t go back to how I was before.” In a statement published at OkayPlayer, Danny gave deeper credit to his producer. “This is [Q-Tip’s] album. I can’t take no credit. I’m just an actor in his movie,” is how the Warp Records artist describes this effort. Brown added that he modeled this work after a comedy album. Brown currently has a talk and variety show on Viceland, Danny’s House, that provides an outlet for the 38-year-old beyond music.
The 11 songs (tracklist below) involve Run The Jewels, JPEGMAFIA, and Blood Orange (aka Dev Hynes). The first taste that fans get is a song that is produced by The Abstract. Less than 24 hours after the audio, a “Dirty Laundry” video arrives that is quintessential Danny.
In the video, he plays a New York cab driver stuck in the past (with an early 1980s Chevy Caprice taxi). In a retro tux, out of shape, and in need of a haircut, the character simply plays in the world—which happens to be Uptown Manhattan. The tone of the video is in the chamber of early 2000s work by Fatlip, El-P, and Tame One, among others. From hitting Jazz clubs to car washes to laundromats, the visual is in the same stream of consciousness as the song. The final sequence nods to Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. It’s a reference not unlike the cues this veteran, respected MC drops in his lyrics. Danny invents universes while staying well-aware of the world around him. The music to the song sounds a step apart from Q-Tip’s previous production style. It features warm chords with a progressive drum track. The beat is dynamic, letting Danny do his thing.
1. “Change Up”
2. “Theme Song”
3. “Dirty Laundry”
4. “3 Tearz” (feat. Run The Jewels)
5. “Belly of the Beast” (feat. Obongjayar)
6. “Savage Nomad”
7. “Best Life”
9. “Negro Spiritual” (feat. JPEGMAFIA)
10. “Shine” (feat. Blood Orange)