Reviews

  Black Milk x Danny Brown: Black x Brown EP

  Label: Fat Beats

  Release Date: November 1st 2011

Danny Brown is fucking nice! No other artist has held my ears hostage and scouring the net for their latest material (other than Jay Electronica) for quite a while. With his no apology approach to the mic, high pitch delivery and cleverly descriptive sexual lyrics Brown has developed a quick following. Brown’s strength is his gift to narrate the most hopeless of stories, as well as harshest of realities in the motor city. It took a while for me to warm up to Brown initially on account appearance, however his body of work trumps that as Danny is clearly my choice for breakthrough artist of 2011.

(More after the jump)

I’ve heard Danny and Black Milk collab on various features, from Elzhi’s Fire (Remix) off his Album The Preface to his most notable on Black Milk’s 2010 LP Album Of The Year for which the EP bares its title Black x Brown.

The very obscure EP is the type of soundscape playground and fantasy fans of lyrics and beats alike can appreciate. The project kicks off with an instrumental track aptly titled Sound Check which serves it’s purpose to let us know Milk is very much apart of this project. Even though Milk rarely touches the mic, restricted mostly to hook duties on two tracks his presence is felt. The album’s first real offering is a track titled Wake Up where brown reflects on his life thus far, doubts for the future of his city and fellow residents. Brown’s delivery fits perfectly as he floats over the beat constructed with a very soft vocal sample. On life in Detroit, Brown spits “We thirsty and starving hungry than a motherfucker, mouth dry as hell try’na to make it in a city where 90% fail”

The Next Track Loosie is bit harder showcasing Danny’s talent as a pure spitter with a battle rapper’s anatomy, boasting humbly “been nice with the mic since spilling rice in my high chair”. Danny seems in his comfort zone here weaving effortlessly over a loud ass kick and snare accompanied with a simple original composition from milk. Black does his thing on this track serving one of his signature chant-like hooks as Danny gives us various alliteration “pissing on ya paragraphs parallel the Paris wheel”. Drug references of  “morphine metaphors make you do the shoulder lean, smoking young Dro it’s Grandaddy with promethazine ” is pretty much the same Danny we’ve grown accustomed to and love.

Other notable tracks are the futuristic Jordan VII, with comes equipped with a raw techno like production of Milk reminiscent to that of “Bounce” off his 2009 offering Tronic. Danny’s jumps the track off right with his typical, vulgar descriptive rhymes style addressing his missing teeth “This bitch told me I need my teeth fixed, I said nah hoe that’s perfect for licking clit” I rock with this track personally because it’s showcases the chemistry between Black x Brown and a potential new sound for the outlet to explore on a future project.

Dada has Brown closest to the high pitch I’ve come to familiarize myself with and has him tossing words four bars at a time only to be interrupted by Milk scratching in a different vocal sample each time. The track is also another sliver lining of good signs in the event of a future project. The track that struck gold with me was

LOL, a re-worked track off his 2010 mixtape Detroit State of Mind: 4 also produced by Milk. The new production of the song provides a fresh vibe that channels A 70’s style blaxploitation theme song, while Danny blacks out.

The Pros are the versatility shown in Black’s production. It could be easy at this point to compare him to Dilla, which is understandable yet completely unnecessary on a count of Milk’s uncanny use of live instrumentation and imagery is that of his own. Danny is a lyrical force to be reckoned with, his calm yet well layered flow on this project seems to be recorded before the very experimental XXX (30) album and blends perfectly to the canvas Black Milk provides.

The fact this project is an EP is it’s only flaw but that’s the magic it possesses is that I’ve wished for it and received.

Overall the EP does just exactly what it’s supposed to do, that is showcase Detroit’s premier producer and rising star on a musical trip cleverly stitched together by a bevy of random samples and loose production. Clocking in at a mere 22 minutes there leaves much to explore if a full length LP does come into fruition, where I personally would like to see Black Milk’s growth as a lyricist as he simply played the loud silent partner this go-round. – Knawledge Born

Notable Tracks:

LOL

Loosie

Jordan VII

Cop Up Black Milk x Danny Brown – Black x Brown

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