Danny Brown—uknowhatimsayin¿

October 14, 2019


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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