He's Old, Missing Teeth, and Has a Funny Haircut: He's Danny Brown, Rap's Biggest Deal

Categories: Danny Brown

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Ysa Perez
Apart from the overcrowding and cost of living, subway ads are one of the most depressing things about New York City. But now, next to the usual ads offering escape in vacation destinations and self-realization in a pair of shoes, you'll find a glimmer of hope in a Uniqlo ad featuring 32-year-old Detroit rapper Danny Brown.

See also: The Many Faces of Danny Brown: His Five Defining Songs

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When Not Making Rap Hits, Harry Fraud Surfs With Manatees and Rocks Out to Sublime

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Harry Fraud
Editor's note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.

Hit man Harry Fraud dropped his new Adrift project today, which the hip-hop producer has teased on Twitter to be a mix of "stuff you may have heard and stuff you may have missed as well as a few others things I been holding on to." Adrift will be followed by a soon-coming EP with Brooklyn spitter Eddie B, and then a further collaboration with his blunt brother Action Bronson. Taking a minute out from his hectic production schedule, we hit up Harry and asked him to explain away his timeline references to Sublime albums, Danny Brown's rapped reaction to MTV's hottest MC list, and downtime spent surfing with manatees.

See also:Harry Fraud's Top Five Producers This Year: "Alchemist, Alchemist, Alchemist, Alchemist, and Alchemist"

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A$AP Rocky and Danny Brown Have a Shot at Realizing Their Dreams -- with Kathy Griffin

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Kathy Griffin? The lady from Family Guy? No, the nurse from the "Slim Shady" video.
A heartfelt collection of our favorite music stories of the week, as picked by Voice music writers, including a special Valentine's Day meeting between A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and ... Kathy Griffin, perhaps best known to the two rappers as the old nurse from Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" video.

Here are your weekly music links:

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An Oral History of the "Super Bowl Shuffle" and Other Links

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Over the course of the week we read a lot of music stories. Here are a few we love, love, loved.

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Live: The Cops Shut Down Fool's Gold Day Off; DJ A-Trak Throws Out More T-Shirts

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Brook Bobbins
Check out our slideshow from the party.

Fool's Gold Day Off: French Montana, Danny Brown, Brothers Macklovitch, Just Blaze, Flosstradamus, Flatbush Zombies, Nick Catchdubs, Ricky Blaze, Party Supplies, #BEEN #TRILL, Telephoned, and more
City Winery
Monday, September 3

Better than: Rain.

Last year, free shows flooded the city, with each night bringing mostly the same crowd but different publicists; an endless bacchanalia of sights and sounds and RSVP emails. Drink taps flowed like fire hoses; beautiful women instinctively flocked. Heineken served hot dogs and beer ahead of shows by Kanye (in a Brooklyn bank-turned-arena), J. Cole (at the Bowery Ballroom) and Pusha T (at Santos); they also stuck TV on the Radio (atop a downtown billboard. Bacardi had Childish Gambino in Terminal 5 and Ciara at South Street Seaport. Red Bull hosted Dipset, Black Moon, Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep and Slick Rick in their respective boroughs. Jadakiss did an entire set amongst shoppers at the Apple Store in June; a few months later, Nike gave Nas a microphone while Carmelo Anthony holograms seemingly exploded out of the Hudson. 2012, in comparison, has been... quiet, don't-wake-the-baby level quiet.

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Danny Brown Calls Playing the Gathering of the Juggalos "Kind of Cool"

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Danny Brown is down with the clown

The highlights of Danny Brown's 2012 summer performance schedule are fairly predictable bookings for the sort of skinny-jeans Fool's Gold rapper who's a part of what SPIN's taken to calling Rap's New Underground: Berlin's street-fashion orgy Bread & Butter, Chicago's indie party Pitchfork Festival, this past weekend's nu-rave grind Hard Summer. But then this Thursday, the Detroit lifer will play Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos, a five-day psycho-porn amusement park that Tom Green once compared to the cinematic disease-apocalypse 28 Days Later.

"It's kind of cool to me," Brown admitted to us last week over the phone. "I was like, 'Damn, you know, that's kind of crazy.'"

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The 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos Infomercial Is Here

Throw your dubs up, this year's Juggomercial has finally arrived. It's 23 minutes long, confirms most of the performers we mentioned on Friday, and casts the Gathering of the Juggalos as the one remaining safe haven from the "sell-out zombies" who dominate the mainstream. "Freedom still exists here with us!," beckons Psychopathic security man Chop. "Originality still exists here with us!" Originality is one way to describe this list of names that would basically never appear together anywhere else in the entire universe:

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Geto Boys, Danny Brown, Bobcat Goldthwait Playing the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos

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Never forget 2011

If the Internet meme machine has seemed a little slow this summer, it's probably because the Gathering of the Juggalos is less than a month away and Insane Clown Posse's industrious label, Psychopathic Records, has yet to release 2012's endlessly watchable Juggomercial. That's already more than a month later than last year, when the 27-minute "earf"-bound spaceship scene revealed the nearly complete line-up on June 3. But this time around, the Midwestern company has not only been preoccupied with the upcoming release of ICP's next studio album, The Mighty Death Pop, but its Michigan headquarters just endured a days-long power outage. So even though we haven't been able to watch Sugar Slam narrate this year's bill, a handful of booked performers have separately announced their Cave-In-Rock commitments. This amounts, as usual, to an amazingly random list of names that would basically never appear together anywhere else in the entire universe.

So far:

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Live: Machine Gun Kelly Is The Valedictorian Of XXL's Freshman Class

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Daniel Hilsinger
Machine Gun Kelly.
XXL Freshman Class 2012: Don Trip, Kid Ink, Iggy Azalea, Roscoe Dash, Macklemore, Hopsin, Danny Brown, Future, French Montana, Machine Gun Kelly
Best Buy Theater
Monday, April 9

Better than: Ten rappers you're completely unfamiliar with.

Every year, XXL selects a group of rappers to label as "freshmen"—supposed up-and-comers that the magazine feels are ready for the limelight. To jaded hip-hop bloggers, the freshmen bear some resemblance to the Best New Artist category at the Video Music Awards: The selection is wildly uneven talent-wise and tends to ignore an artist's history. To everyone else, including attendees of the XXL Freshmen showcase concert at the Best Buy Theater last night, they're a group of unknowns with one or two familiar names thrown into the mix, names which are worth commuting into the belly of Times Square to witness.

The four-hour showcase, containing ten 15-minute-ish sets, involved at least three people dressed as Spider-Man, Irishmen waving flags, innumerable high-schoolers, and (due to those high schoolers) a lot of awkward, occasionally angry, grinding. It was loosely hosted by Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg of Hot 97, who seemed both excited and disgusted by how many young white people were in the audience. A rundown of the performances:

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

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The way Danny Brown raps isn't identical to the way Danny Brown talks, but in conversation with the Michigan MC, a few similarities pop up: the wheezy hyena chuckles, the dry sense of humor, the easy confidence, the sense that he can murder this interview shit day or night, awake or asleep, braided or permed. Rapping, Brown works in two modes: a parody of a steroid-case bruiser spitting through and a strained, crazed yelp that's half Eminem, half Ol' Dirty Bastard, with the former's ear for intricately structured rhymes and the latter's willingness to play the ham.

A decade into Brown's rocky rap career, the mean streets of Detroit are his inspiration; poverty, depravity, and how one fuels the other are as much his grand themes as exhibitionist cunnilingus or dreaming up funny nicknames for strains of marijuana. And if 2010's The Hybrid, his first high-profile solo mix tape, established Brown's urban diorama—abject gross-outs, debauched slice-of-life vignettes, thinly veiled PSAs, a brief history of his family's history with illegal substances—last year's XXX (Fool's Gold) exploded it to feature-film dimensions with the no-holds barred hedonism of its first half giving way to a series of heart-scarring sequels and prequels: straw-woman party girls like the ones Brown's been mounting emerging as broken souls, hard-knock childhood tales, gangs of metal-stripping marauders. XXX (which clocked in at No. 28 on the most recent Pazz & Jop poll) takes root and wraps its branches around the listener, the encyclopedic spiral of referents jibing with the devilishly psychedelic array of daring, wide-earred beats, the apparently endless, compressed strings of marvelous couplets. Brown has more winners in two songs than most rappers manage in an entire album. If you've only familiar with the 31-year old's breast-beating, scene-stealing spots on Das Racist, Mister Muthafuckin' eXquire, or Mach Five tracks, you haven't heard the full Danny Brown.

Earlier this month, Brown filled SOTC in on his writing process, his love for Joy Division, and what it means to take "blunts to the face."

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