Album Review: Danny Brown—uknowhatimsayin¿

If this is Danny Brown’s transition into elder statesman mode, I’m here for it. You gotta give the guy some credit—he’s spent the last ten years rapping like a maniac over beats that no sensible person would touch. I know not everyone will be happy with this course adjustment, but hear me out—let him have his chill album. Give him a chance to stretch. You might be surprised by what he’s able to accomplish within this framework. For one, between the stories (“Dirty Laundry”) and the endless streams of killer one-liners (“Savage Nomad”) he’s got a lot to say here, and he’s able to lay it out much more clearly over comfy R&B samples than Atrocity Exhibition’s industrial hellscapes. While Atrocity remains the stronger album as a whole, it was essentially a dead-end (what was he gonna do next—go full Death Grips?), while uknowhatimsayin¿ feels like a new beginning, ripe with possibilities. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t shout out the top-notch work by Q-Tip—again, not Danny’s M.O. production-wise, but these two clearly have a closely-knit creative relationship, and thus, were able to make it work. I honestly wouldn’t mind another helping of this somewhere down the line, but considering his track record, I doubt his ability to sit still for that long. No big deal though. Just another damn-near perfect album from the greatest rapper ever. (4/5)

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