Danny Brown – ‘DNA’


Life According To… is a feature where FACT’s favourite artists fill us in on their childhood dreams, biggest regrets and more.

This time around, we grilled Danny Brown, the divisive Detroit rapper whose latest solo album, XXX, is one of 2011’s most personal, unfiltered and, at times, difficult records. Next week, he’ll release Black and Brown, a collaborative EP with fellow Motor City producer Black Milk.


The first album I ever bought was…
“Kid n Play’s 2 Hype.”

The last album I bought was… “Tyler, The Creator’s Goblin… Like everyone else I was caught up in the hype [laughs]”

More than drugs or explicit content, the title of my last album, XXX, stands for… “30, and I think it signifies my age the most… I look at the album as more of a celebration of the age.”

The biggest thing I’ve learned since turning 30… “Is that the phrase ‘he’s in his own world’ is true. Everyone’s world’s different from the next man’s, and you can customize it to your liking. Now that I know that I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.”

I still feel like an underdog… “I mean, there’s still a lot more popular rappers that don’t rap as good as me.”

My best quality is… “Obviously my sense of humour.”

My worst quality is… “Obviously my abusive personality.”

Fools Gold is a label that I was huge fan of… “And I’m super honoured to be involved. It pretty much was my manager Emeka, he already had a relationship with him and the rest is history.”

When I was a kid I most wanted to be… “A rapper.”

My biggest mistake was… “Selling drugs.”

The most significant thing I learnt from dealing was… “How to save money.”

I don’t think I’d ever leave Detroit… “Michigan’s affordable. I’m not tryna pay a million bucks a month to live in a shoe box.”

My current haircut is… “Just one side shaved. My brother cuts my hair.”

I don’t feel freer for releasing an album as personal as XXX“If anything I feel like I put the world in my business, but it’s cool.”


As told to Chris Campbell

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