Q&A: Danny Brown On Cataloguing Rhymes, His "Rookie Of The Year" Status, And Joy Division

Mach Five feat. Danny Brown, "Molly On My Tongue"

Is there any new music out that you're excited about?

Chief Keef, a guy out of Chicago, he's 16 or 17 years old. He's gonna be the guy who brings gangsta rap back. Gangster is the kids. Us older rappers can say it, and we know the outcomes of the street, but the kids are living it.

A lot of rappers claim to be down with rock and roll; it's become kind of a thing to be a rapper and do an interview and say something like "I'm down with Coldplay, I love Coldplay" to flash some sort of open-minded bona fides.

People really do that? That's corny.

Listening to your raps, it's really apparent that you really know and love rock inside and out, that it's not an affectation. I love that line from "30": "I feel like Billy Corgan, playing a church organ/ Covering Too $hort, smoking a Newport."

[Laughs] That line was like "I'm an old emo Midwestern motherfucker."

What are some of your favorite rock bands?

I think my favorite, the most amazing shit, would be Joy Division. But I think Korn was one of the first bands I got freaked out about. They had some hip-hop in their sound too, and from them I got into System of a Down and Incubus. But Joy Division is the number one influence for me right now. I could talk for hours about that.

Danny Brown, "DNA"

What's your writing process like?

I write on my laptop. I write constantly, so when it's time to record, I have tons of lyrics. There could be a song that I think is dope when I write it. But I come back two weeks later and it's not so dope, you know what I'm saying? But there could be a song that sucked today but in a month, it's ill.

Is there any subject you want to work into a lyric, but haven't been able to yet?

I'm trying to find a place for a rhyme about Michael Jackson throwing his fedora out. I know I've got it in my head; it's just stuck.

How long has it been stuck there?

It's been about three days. If it's been stuck that long, I know it's gonna be good.

Danny Brown plays Santos Party House with World's Fair tonight.

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