Album Review | Danny Brown – Old

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This album was released on October 8th in 2013. It’s the only project from Danny Brown that I’d heard before starting this marathon. If I’m remembering correctly, I really enjoyed a lot of the songs on Side A, but hated most of Side B. Those are the two sections that this album is split into. Side A has more stuff like what was on The Hybrid and the last few songs on XXX. Side B has the more energetic, party stuff. I only skimmed this album the first time I heard it, so maybe I’ll appreciate it a little more now that I’m paying more attention. I don’t think I’ll like this as much as XXX, and I might not even like it as much as The Hybrid to be honest. I know it won’t be wack tho.

Track 1: Side A (Old) [Prod. Paul White]

I love this song. It sounds like it could’ve been on The Hybrid. It has a really rough, gritty sounding beat, and Danny Brown is rapping his fucking ass off with his normal delivery. He immediately describes wearing jackets indoors and leaving his oven open because he couldn’t afford a heating system. I remember a lot of the songs on this album containing vivid descriptions of the extremely desperate conditions in which Danny Brown used to live. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone describe how fucked up poverty can be like this in their music. The first verse is dope af. “Won’t live for anything, but might die for nothing.” I love the hook too. The second verse was great. This song in particular focuses more on his life as a drug dealer. I have absolutely zero problems with this track. I love the production from Paul White, and Danny rapped his ass off on this shit. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 2: The Return Feat. Freddie Gibbs (Prod. Paul White)

I think I like this song even more than the previous track. That beat is dope af, and Danny & Freddie Gibbs both ripped this shit apart. This is kinda like Danny Brown’s spiritual successor to Return Of The G by Outkast. I love the way he starts the first verse. “See they think I’m a fuck nigga / But if they ever see me then they might have to duck, nigga.” This whole song is just gangsta as fuck. The hook is dope. Freddie Gibbs was the perfect feature for this song. Any other contemporary gangsta rapper would’ve sounded out of place over this beat. “Devil on my shoulder as I’m whipping up this yola / And that motor hit the rotor, ship this blow to Minnesota / Only option is a shoot out if the police pull me over / This shit get realer than shit that’s on your Playstation controller.” Freddie’s flow on the outro kinda reminds me of Andre 3000 too. I definitely fuck with this track. The beat is fantastic, and Danny & Freddie both killed this shit. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 3: 25 Bucks Feat. Purity Ring (Prod. Corin Roddick)

25-bucks

This was the first track from this album that I heard. I think it’s the first Danny Brown song I’ve ever heard too. Actually, Grown Up was the first Danny Brown song I ever heard. I guess this was the second Danny Brown song I ever heard then. I actually remember hearing this on the radio a lot when this album came out, which might be kinda surprising to some people. I probably wouldn’t have ever listened to this album if I never heard this track. It’s dope af. I don’t even listen to Purity Ring, but they really added a lot to this track. The beat and hook are both dope af to me. This is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. He’s rapping about how his mother used to charge people 25 bucks to get their hair twisted. I think that was their only source of income. “Arthritis in her fingers, carpal tunnel in her wrists / ‘Bout to feed her kids at night sit between her legs and twist / While she listen to the oldie soap operas smoking bogies / On the phone gossiping telling homegirls stories.” Danny Brown really stepped his flow up between XXX and this album. I wasn’t really that impressed with his flow on most of XXX, but he sounds fantastic on every track from this album so far. “Now I’m trapped in the trap and the devil ain’t forgetting / Wanna see me dead or locked in a prison / In the system with division only thing that add up / Fucked up ’cause a nigga tryna get a couple bucks.” I feel like this is the most complete sounding song. I don’t know what they could’ve done to improve this song. It’s the most pleasing track sonically; I definitely understand why this was chosen as a single. The second verse was dope af. “Good night, fast food / If you REALLY balling mommy copped Chinese food.” I love that line. I definitely fuck with this track. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 4: Wonderbread (Prod. Paul White)

This is one of the few tracks from Side A that I don’t remember at all. I guess I didn’t like it the first time I heard this album. I’m pretty sure I already know what it’s about; Danny Brown mentioned getting jumped while he was out getting Wonderbread for his mom on Fields, which was on XXX. It’s starting now. Alright… This beat is dope af. It’s really weird and dreamy. Oh shit… Okay, I think I know why I didn’t like this track. Danny’s delivery is annoying as FUCK on this track. It’s the same signature loud-mouth delivery that he’s notorious for, but it seems even more over the top than usual on this track in particular. I… I kinda like it tho. It sounds good over this beat. The first verse was dope. “Walk out the door; first thing I see / A dope fiend standing there looking at me / Standing right there in front of the porch / With a pipe in his hand, in the other a torch.” He rapped about seeing a crackhead getting shot up while he was on the way to get bread. The second verse is where he talks about getting jumped. Hmm… I feel like I should give this a 4, but… I actually REALLY enjoyed this one. I actually liked his over the top delivery, and I love the beat and content of this track. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 5: Gremlins (Prod. Oh No)

This is another one of my favorite tracks. The beat from Oh No is energetic and tense, and the verses contain horrific descriptions of the dangerous characters in Danny’s hood. “I know some lil niggas that thirst cream / That pop a bitch on camera, and we ain’t talking ’bout twerk team / Shooting up cribs turning porches to smokescreens / Mama smoking nightmares, chasing her pipe dream.” The first verse is dope af. I love the way Danny yells “GREMLINS” in his goofy ass voice during the break between the first and second verses. The second verse was dope af too. “Pop a pill, nigga, and he don’ feel nigga / You do it in the song; he do it for real, nigga / And all his OG’s is either dead or in prison / Scared to talk to him like, ‘fuck it, he won’t listen.” He killed this shit. I love the simplistic structure; it’s just two great verses with a break in between. This song is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 6: Dope Fiend Rental Feat. ScHoolboy Q (Prod. skywlkr)

The placement of this song always confused the hell out of me. I feel like it should’ve been on Side B. The production and subject matter of this song fits in more with the second half of the album. It’s not really that big of a deal tho. The beat is really dope. It kinda sounds like what I think I’d hear if I woke up in a bathroom surrounded by sedated cokeheads during an EDM concert and I was hungover. Not that I’ve ever been to an EDM concert. Or hungover. It just makes me think of sex, drugs and loud music. I guess that’s ’cause the beat’s loud. It’s dope tho. It goes really well with the shit Danny’s rapping about too. “I’m all the way in your bitch mouth / And I gag her ’til she cry, and her stomach fluid come up / I be fucking her face on the daily; you be kissing that bitch in the mouth.” I could’ve done without some of the more vulgar lines like this. I’m really not into that hook either… It’s just him yelling “Open wide, ho.” Q’s verse was even more fucked up than Danny’s. Some of the lines were so over the top that I couldn’t help but laugh. He talks about telling girls to do a flip in the air then land on his dick from the back, as well as having a dick as long as the Brooklyn bridge. I don’t know how I feel about this song. The content just doesn’t really appeal to me. I like the production, but that’s pretty much it to be honest. This is alright. 3/5

Track 7: Torture (Prod. Oh No)

This is probably the most fucked up track on the whole album. The first lines of the song are “Remember one time, dog, this fiend owed the boss / Put peanut butter on her pussy; let his pits lick it off.” The whole track just has really dark imagery like that. “Was like fucking seven years old / When I first seen a fiend try to light a rock off the stove / Damn near burned his top lip off, so my mind ticked off / Desensitized to a lot of things; mind would drift off.” I love it. The beat is dope. The hook is really simple, but it works. The second verse focuses on Danny’s life as a drug dealer. “Gave his ass another stone; now guess what? / It’s over, he ain’t come back / Before I could look back I heard the wood on the door crack / And they yelling ‘Police‘ with this work up in my jeans / Man, this a bad dream.” This is another fantastic song. I love the grim lyricism. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 8: Lonely (Prod. Paul White)

This is one of the few tracks on Side A that sounds kinda happy sonically. I don’t even know if “happy” is the right word. It just sounds less dark and fucked up. This is still a pretty bleak song lyrically tho. “Hipster by heart, but I can tell you how the streets feel / Everybody thirsty, and they looking for a refill / If the gang eating, guns barking at your doggie bag / Get took out for your take out; now you carry out.” The first verse is dope af. The hook is fine. I liked the second verse too. This is a good song. It’s not as enjoyable for me as a lot of the other tracks so far, but I still like it. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 9: Clean Up (Prod. Paul White)

I don’t remember this track at all. I must not have liked it the first time I listened to this album. I’m enjoying it right now tho. Man… I usually like dark music, but this shit is REALLY dark. Seriously, this is a depressing ass album. I still like it tho. The first verse of this song is dope af. “Daughter sending me messages saying ‘Daddy, I miss you‘ / But in this condition I don’t think she need to see me / Ain’t slept in four days, and I’m smelling like seaweed / Problems in my past haunt my future and the present / Escaping from reality got me missing my blessings.” The beat is cool. The hook isn’t bad. I definitely prefer this introspective side of Danny, but it’d be nice to get a more upbeat track every now and then to break shit up. I don’t mean shit like Dope Fiend Rental. I guess a track like Grown Ups would feel out of place tho. The second verse was dope af. “Cases had me locked up, mama always wrote me / Pops my only visit; they the only ones that loved me / That’s why I feel bad popping Givenchy tags / Knowing that this tee could feed my nephew for a week.” I think this song is fantastic lyrically. The beat isn’t bad, but it’s not really that great either. I fuck with this song. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 10: Red 2 Go (Prod. Oh No)

This is the last song on Side A. I guess I didn’t like this one either when I first heard it ’cause I don’t remember it all. He’s back to using his annoying signature delivery. The beat is dope af. Honestly, this is just what I needed it. This feels like a breath of fresh air after listening to so many serious, heavy songs like Torture & Clean Up. He’s rapping about how every pussy is tight to him since his dick is so big and how he eats cereal with codeine rather than milk. The hook is dope. Both of the verses are great. I don’t really have anything else to say. This is just a really good song. I kinda wish I knew why I didn’t like this song the first time I heard it. I guess it probably had something to do with Danny’s voice. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. This song is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 11: Side B (Dope Song) [Prod. Rustie]

Okay, he’s where this album starts going downhill I guess. I don’t completely hate this song tho. I actually like it. I love the way this song starts. The production just sounds really grandiose. I’m not completely sold on the direction in which the beat goes once Danny actually starts rapping tho. Well, that’s not true. I like this beat a lot. I just prefer the production style on the first half of this album. This is one of the only beats from Side B that I like. I liked the first verse tho. Honestly, the only thing that I really dislike about this song is his voice during part of the hook. He used a voice synthesizer to make his voice go higher, so it sounds even more ridiculous than it normally does. That’s really the only thing I don’t like about this song tho. I fuck with this one. It’s definitely not one of my favorites, but I liked the verses. I even liked the beat. Again, I prefer the production style on Side A, but this beat in particular is pretty good to me. This is dope. 4/5

Track 12: Dubstep Feat. Scrufizzer (Prod. Rustie)

Okay, I don’t really remember this track, but I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be my least favorite song on the album ’cause I can’t stand dubstep music. Alright it’s starting now… Uh… What the hell… This is… This is actually good. I thought it would be one of them obnoxious ass annoying ass loud ass EDM beats. I thought it’d be like when A$AP Rocky did Wild For The Night. This beat is actually kinda smooth tho. This is more Kaytranada than Skrillex. I really don’t remember this song at all. To be honest, I probably just completely skipped this song when I was first listening to this album because of the title. I know; I was a pretty closed-minded person. I’m not blown away by the production, but it’s not bad. I like it. The hook is nothing special. The first verse was fine. This Scrufizzer guy is British. British rappers always sound incredibly weird to me for whatever reason. It’s really off putting, but I can usually get used to it if I like the song enough. Scrufizzer’s voice is annoying, but his double time flow was nice. Hmm… Do I like this song? I don’t think I do… It’s definitely not the wackest song on the whole album, but… Well… To be honest, it IS my least favorite song on the album so far, but I still don’t really think it’s bad. It’s definitely better than I thought it’d be. I don’t think I’d ever wanna hear this again tho. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 13: Dip (Prod. skywlkr)

This was the first single from this album. I don’t like it. It interpolates a song called Da Dip by Freak Nasty. I’ve always hated that song, so I guess it makes sense that I wouldn’t like this shit either. This beat sounds more like dubstep than the previous track. I actually kinda like this beat. I don’t like the hook tho. The first verse was fine. It’s typical Danny Brown; he’s just rapping about getting dangerously high. It doesn’t really appeal to me. I feel like this is for dumb ass, trend following frat boys who think doing drugs and getting drunk makes them cool. I’m not saying anyone who likes this song is like that. I think that’s who it was specifically made for tho. This is easily my least favorite song on the album so far. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 14: Smokin’ & Drankin’ (Prod. A-Trak & JMIKE)

Again, I usually can’t stand EDM. I’m not a fan of A-Trak. This beat is really dope tho. The drum pattern is just really hard hitting. That’s really the only thing I like about this shit tho. The hook is annoying as fuck, and, again, the content doesn’t appeal to me at all. Danny’s flow on the second verse is actually pretty nice. However, a mildly entertaining flow and dope drum pattern isn’t enough for me to like a song, especially when the hook is this annoying to me. I definitely like it more than the previous two tracks, but still. This isn’t for me. 3/5

Track 15: Break It (Go) [Prod. Rustie]

I think I remember this track. The hook is annoying as FUUUUUCK. The beat is alright tho. LMAO. Nah. I can’t take this shit seriously. The way he had the clapping sound effects in there when he said “MAKE THAT BOOTY GO…” was just ridiculous. I’m sorry, y’all. I just can’t do this one. This isn’t for me at all. “She had me on that wall / Drink in my hand with her ass on my balls.” Lmao. Nah. I just can’t. This sounds like a parody. If it’s supposed to be a parody, that’s cool I guess. It’s still not something I enjoy personally tho. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 16: Handstand (Prod. Darq E Freaker)

Hmm… Darq E Freaker… That name sounds familiar. I can’t remember… Whatever. I’m 99% sure I’m gonna hate this song anyway. If I’m remembering correctly, this is a song about girls twerking on a handstand. I’m not feelin’ this beat. It’s so fucking annoying. The first verse was not good. Not for me at least. I don’t think anyone’s surprised that I’m not feelin’ a song with lines like “Let me suck on that clit while you follow my head.” I don’t like club music in the first place, so this shit is pretty fuckin’ bad to me. Oh my God… HAHAHAHAHAHA. There’s a weird ass sound effect in this song, and it sounds exactly like my mom yelling “Nick!,” so I’ve been pausing the song over and over again trying to see what the hell my mom wants. I’m a fucking dumbass. Anyway, this song is fucking awful to me. “Hands on the floor and her feet on the wall / And she pop that pussy like she ain’t afraid to fall.” This is wack af. 1/5

Track 17: Way Up Here Feat. Ab-Soul (Prod. Rustie)

I usually love Ab-Soul, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he dropped a trash verse on this song like he did on Smoke Again by Chance The Rapper. I’m really looking forward to his album, and that Huey Knew track that he dropped is dope af, but the majority of the shit he did between 2012 and 2015 was trash. Obviously there are a decent amount of exceptions. I’m not expecting much tho. Especially considering the other shit on Side B of this album. I don’t really like it when Danny does party music, but I REALLY don’t like it when Soulo does party music. This beat is actually pretty cool. I’m not feelin’ the hook tho. I’m not feelin’ the first verse either. Every four bars he repeats “Bitch, I’m way up here.” I hate it when rappers repeat the same line in their verses like that. He does the same thing on the hook. Fuck. Even Soulo’s verse does that. It gets annoying after a while. Soulo’s voice actually sounded pretty good over this beat. I liked his flow too. I didn’t like his verse tho. I don’t really think this is that bad of a song. It’s just really not good. I didn’t dislike this shit, but I’d never have the desire to listen to it again. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 18: Kush Coma Feat. A$AP Rocky & ZelooperZ (Prod. skywlkr)

Nah. I can’t stand this song. The beat is kinda cool, but… Well, you know. The subject matter isn’t for me. My main problem is the hook tho. I just can’t do it. ZelooperZ sounds like a damn robot. Imagine a robot singing “Kush coma; I am in a kush coma” over and over again. I can’t do it. Rocky’s verse wasn’t very good to me. He’s never been a good lyricist, and a dope flow isn’t enough for me to like the song. I guess his verse wasn’t bad. It just didn’t really add much for me. I wasn’t feelin’ the final verse from Danny either. This just isn’t good to me. I don’t think it’s completely terrible because I kinda liked the beat. That’s really the only positive thing I can say tho. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 19: Float On Feat. Charli XCX (Prod. Frank Dukes & BADBADNOTGOOD)

I fucking love this song. It’s similar to Dope Fiend Rental in that it would make far more sense on the other half of the album. This song belongs on Side A. I understand that he wanted to close the entire album with this track tho. The beat is dope af. Danny’s using the same somber delivery that he used on Drinks On Me. The first verse is fantastic. “I’m trapped in the beat, stuck on every line / Nothing else matters except my next rhyme / You can never understand all the pressure I’m against / Getting high thinking how to make it better than your last shit.” The hook is dope af too. “Might have a mental breakdown / If it wasn’t for these pills here now.” I don’t really like Charli XCX’s vocals on this track tho. She sounds pretty bad when she sings “float on,” but she sounds nice in the background when she sings “Let’s go, hop up in the Chevy four-door / Let’s roll.” I feel like Danny could’ve gotten any singer to do that tho. Honestly, it probably would’ve sounded fine if he just did it himself. That’s not really something I’d take points off for tho. The second verse was dope af. I think this was a really great way to close the album. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks. It’s dope af. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

This album is good. That’s it. It’s just good. It’s pretty much a double album. Side A is amazing. Side B is mediocre to me. In case you’re wondering, if these were released as two separate projects, Side A would get a 92 from me, and Side B would get a 55. I generally don’t really like club music, so that’s why I couldn’t get behind the second half. The beats were fine for the most part, but the subject matter just didn’t appeal to me at all. I’m sure if you like club music you probably think Danny Brown is really good at it. That’s just not really what I want from Danny Brown personally. The first part of this album is damn near perfect to me tho. I think Danny Brown sounds fantastic over that grittier style of production, and the fucking imagery was absolutely horrifying. That’s a good thing tho. I’m having a super difficult time choosing a favorite song right now. I definitely think this album is worth listening to just because of the Side A. Seriously, I LOVED that first part of this album. As a whole, this is definitely my least favorite Danny Brown project that I’ve heard. If it was only Side A, this’d be my favorite project from him tho. I love Side A. I kinda wish he just released both sides separately. It doesn’t really matter tho. I still got an album worth of dope music. He also gave me an album worth of shit that I don’t like, but I’m focusing on the positive shit. Side A is amazing. As a whole, this is very good. I just would’ve liked it more without the second half.

EDIT:

The streets do NOT fuck with this album.

Favorite Song: 25 Bucks

Least Favorite Song: Handstand

Verdict:

74%

70-79

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