Detroit’s most unique rapper steps up once again.
Since 2013’s critically acclaimed Old full-length, Danny Brown has been relatively quiet on the release front. While there have been a slew of guest appearances (including a recent collaboration with the Avalanches), hints about an upcoming album have been few and far between. We were tipped off my Fools Gold boss Nick Catchdubs earlier this year, who told us that the album was finished, but have been completely in the dark over when to expect it.
Today, it’s been announced that Brown has made the jump from Fools Gold (who released his breakout XXX as well as Old) to British independent outpost Warp. This actually makes a lot of sense to us – not only has Brown been spotted on the label before (via a collaboration with Rustie) but Warp has a history of supporting rap’s outliers, from their early work with NYC weirdos Antipop Consortium to more recent experiments with Jeremiah Jae.
Brown states, via a press release: “With the blessing of my Fools Gold family by my side, I’m excited to be working with Warp on new material. They’re music fans to the same high degree I am and I’m looking forward to breaking some rules together.”
‘When It Rain’ is the first single to appear from this partnership, and it’s a fresh, daring reminder of why we cared so much about Danny Brown in the first place. Accompanied by an effervescent VHS-taped video, the track kicks off with a whirlwind performance from Brown, breathlessly staking his claim for over a minute before the beat actually drops. The track is produced by British beatmaker Paul White, who has worked with Brown for some time now, writing a number of tracks for both XXX and Old.
As the pieces begin to fit together you can hear his influences coalesce – the urgent grime of Dizzee Rascal, the pulse of classic techno and house (there’s even a direct reference to Cajmere’s Chicago house staple ‘Percolator’) and the no-holds-barred energy of contemporary Southern rap. It’s one of Brown’s most defining moves to date, and has us desperate to hear the full album.