Danny Brown XXX

Danny BrownXXX
Detroit rhymer Danny Brown comes into his own with XXX, his first album since signing with Fool's Gold earlier this year. Over 19 songs, you hear every side of Danny: warped punch liner on "Outer Space"; post-Flocka shouter on "Bruiser Brigade"; detached urban observer on "Fields"; and sympathetic storyteller on "Nosebleeds." "Die Like a Rockstar" flips the Rick Ross/Lil B approach, namedropping deceased rock stars, from Kurt Cobain to Brad Nowell, "feeling like Keith Moon/shrooms in my dressing room." He's a unique character, and the rare rapper who rhymes Bukowski with Soda Popinski in the same bar. The highlight is "Scrap or Die," a BIG-worthy heist tale with none of the Mafioso grandeur you'd expect, just Danny and his uncle looting abandoned schools for old computers and copper wire, recounted over slithering analog synths and mechanical clatter. XXX is true recession rap, alternately raw, angry, honest, hilarious and thoughtful. (Fool's Gold)