Published Sep 30, 2016It's been three years since we last heard from Danny Brown, but the Michigan misfit is back with his fourth studio album, Atrocity Exhibition, and first on Warp Records. And he's promising his most unique contribution yet.
"If you were a fan of my music before, you're in for a treat," Brown tells Exclaim! "It's gonna surprise you. It's a real…intriguing listen."
The album features raucous, disorderly production from collaborators such as Black Milk, Paul White and Evian Christ, the British whiz who first caught our ears on Kayne West's Yeezus. Creatively, Brown outstrips himself, fusing an eclectic mix of lyrics and sounds that not many others in the rap game can deliver.
"Originality is my number one thing," says Brown. "I think what keeps me excited is just always challenging myself and pushing myself forward. I continue to make progressive and forward-thinking hop-hop."
Atrocity Exhibition is fairly light on features, but Brown recruited a handful of heavy-hitters for the project. Fans can expect appearances from South African singer-songwriter Petite Noir, Cypress Hill veteran B-Real and recently, Brown released "Really Doe," where he volleys deliciously uncivil rhymes with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatshirt.
"One thing about being a rapper, you always feel like you're the best," Brown offers. "But if there's anybody I would say [is] on my level it'd be those guys: Earl, Kendrick and Soul."
A three-year hiatus and past critical acclaim haven't made Brown complacent. Throughout Atrocity Exhibition, he approaches his craft with the hunger of a newcomer. Inspired by Björk, Raekwon and a stable of Quentin Tarantino films, Brown says that appreciating art like a fan keeps him from falling into a creative rut.
"A lot of time I just like to study music, watch a lot of documentaries and just get inspired by people's stories… and know I'm making history like them too!" says Brown. "I'm doing something that I always wanted to do. I'm living my dream and not a lot of people get a chance to do that. So [I] take advantage of every second of that."
From sinister to cheeky, from introspective to bubbly, Atrocity Exhibition is a compilation of twists and turns that Brown promises you'll enjoy — whether you want to or not.
"Give it a listen, give it time [and] have patience with it," he says. "Like the title says, it's an atrocity exhibition. You know it's not right for you to be entertained by this… but you still are."
Give yourself some time to be entertained by Atrocity Exhibition in full below.