Danny Brown Reminds He’s Got Lyrics To Go With A Beat & An Assist From Q-Tip

Yesterday (October 4), Danny Brown released his highly anticipated fifth studio album, uknowhatimsayin¿. The Detroit, Michigan MC garnered some very strong acclaim after 2012’s far-reaching X.X.X. mixtape presented his unique style as an inventive, profane, and boisterous rapper with an ear for spaced-out beats and abstract productions. Seven years removed from XXX, Brown broadened his portfolio to include a dynamic Viceland show, Danny’s House. It pulls from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Wayne’s World in a manner that’s trademark Danny.

It was back in March that Danny Brown saw excitement build for his fifth solo album. Q-Tip appeared on Elton John’s Beats 1 radio show, Rocket Hour. The Abstract revealed that he would serve as the executive producer of uknowhatimsayin¿. The Warp Records album promised to lend Q-Tip’s tremendous ear, which apart from A Tribe Called Quest catalog and solo material, includes legendary work with Nas, Mobb Deep, Apache, and Pusha-T. The result with uknowhatimsayin¿ is three Q-Tip productions, joining a cast that includes Paul White, JPEGMAFIA, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat.

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One of the finest cuts of them all is the closer on uknowhatimsayin¿, “Combat,” produced by Q-Tip. The track begins with a sample from the New York City street documentary 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s before a flailing brassy horn commands Danny Brown to start rapping. Brown sharply raps, “I don’t give a f*ck / I could talk a cat off the back of a fish truck / Tell me, ‘What’s up?’ / All about the game, so I’m hunting big buck / Big butt, slim waist, and her hair long / Pass it down to me like a heirloom / The Henny got me wetter than whale piss / I die for this sh*t like Elvis.” From the same city as Eminem and Royce 5’9, Danny Brown does not get nearly enough credit for his witty punchlines.

Brown then begins detailing his life of crime before Rap, delving in the specifics of selling drugs and street warfare in The D. His second verse aptly sums up his planned escape from pushing into music. “All I cared about was the stacks and the stage / When it’s time to re-up, then my partner got his hash / Ain’t rocket science class, I ain’t try’na pass math / Twelve grams on the scale, watch me do arts and crafts / Any day could be my last, livin’ like that, Tripped over the crack, crippled by circumstance / Ni**a gotta face the facts, make this world your own / Sun sprinkled light for this mega-marathon / Try’na live on through my music / The future influence, the next to do it / The odds are against you, kiddo / Life want everything from you, like a divorced widow / Try’na get it like the next negro, Want beef? / You gon’ f*ck around and end up a vegetable / Try’na give you a lil’ game, Get some, get locked, get out and back again.”

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“Combat” then shows its surprise guest features, as Q-Tip and his cousin (and veteran A.T.C.Q./G.O.O.D. Music affiliate) Consequence rap back and forth for a quick bridge. Tip raps, “It’s a combat zone / Every fiend, want they own / Red top, blue top, Get the green on the block.” Later, Cons’ comes in and raps: “Try’na swerve from 12 / It never fails when you goin’ through Hell.” The duo passes the ball just before Brown hops on for his final verse, and another sample from the doc.

uknowhatimsayin¿ also features Run The Jewels, JPEGMAFIA, and Blood Orange.

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Danny Brown Press Photograph by Chris Shontig provided by The Biz 3 Publicity.