Album Review | Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition

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This album was released on September 30th this year. Remember how I said that Mick Jenkins might’ve replaced Joey Bada$$ in my current top 10 favorite rappers if The Healing Component was as good as I wanted it to be? That didn’t end up happening. I think Danny Brown might do it tho. Again, Old is technically my least favorite album from him so far, but Side A is seriously incredible to me. I’ve been hearing amazing things about this album too, so if it’s as good to me as it is to everyone else, then Danny Brown will definitely replace Joey. I’m really expecting this to be dope af. It’s Danny’s shortest album yet, which is a good sign. I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard all of the singles, but the only one that I can really remember is Really Doe. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Every track is produced by Paul White, except where noted.

Track 1: Downward Spiral

Alright, here we go. It’s starting now. Yes. YES. Okay, THIS is fucking dope. “I’m sweating like I’m in a rave / Been in this room for 3 days / Think I’m hearing voices / Paranoid and think I’m seeing ghostses; oh shit.” He started this shit off doing what he does best: rapping about the negative effects of his drug use with his signature loudmouth delivery over a weird ass beat. This shit is raw af. “Had a threesome last night; ain’t matter what it cost / Couldn’t get it hard, tried to stuff it in soft / Had to fuck ’em both raw, keep my fingers crossed / Been grinding on my teeth so long it’s swelling up my jaw.” What THE FUCK. This is fucking crazy. I’m so fucking excited right now. This beat is insane. This is exactly what I think I would hear if I was in Danny Brown’s position. This doesn’t sound like a person rapping over a beat. It sounds like I’M Danny Brown and I’m hearing this shit in my head. It’s like the lyrics are my thoughts, and the production is how my body feels. This is absolutely insane. It’s so fucking awesome. The second verse was dope af. “Everybody say ‘you got a lot to be proud of‘ / Been high this whole time, don’t realize what I done / ‘Cause when I’m all alone feel like no one cares / Isolate myself and don’t go nowhere.” GOTDAMN. I fucking love this shit, man. This is some really dark stuff. It’s so dope tho. Danny’s fucked up on this shit. This is like Earl Sweatshirt levels of darkness. “Smoking blunt after blunt ’til my eyes burning / Hennessy straight got my chest like a furnace / Drowning frustrations in a ocean of sin / Thinking irrational; I have no emotions.” I LIVE FOR THIS SHIT. This is absolutely dope af to me. 5/5

Track 2: Tell Me What I Don’t Know

Damn. My sources are telling me that the streets don’t fuck with Atrocity Exhibition. Whatever. I’m enjoying the fuck outta this so far. I’ve only listened to the first song tho. This track is starting now. FUCK, man. Alright, I don’t wanna jump the gun or anything, but I’m honestly pretty sure that I already love this whole album. Danny Brown has REALLY stepped his flow up since XXX. He’s rapping in his regular, calm voice. On both of these first two tracks there hasn’t really been any substantial percussion. I wonder how many times Danny had to rerecord this shit to make it flow properly. He sounds amazing over this shit. I love the production. The first verse is dope af. Jesus fuck. This is so weird. I love this shit. The hook is great. “Tell me what I don’t know / Last night homie got killed at the liquor store / Shot my nigga on the way to get a Swisher / Breaking down the weed when the call got received.” This is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Ohhhhhhhhhh FUCK. The way those drums come in towards the end of the second verse is amazing. The way this beat evolves is awesome. I definitely fuck with this one. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 3: Rolling Stone Feat. Petite Noir (Prod. Petite Noir)

This beat is dope af. I feel like there are a lot of instruments—specifically the drums—on this album that I don’t usually hear in a lot of Hip Hop. This Petite Noir guy sounds really good singing the hook. Damn. Danny Brown just said “nigga rich.” I forgot that was a thing. I haven’t heard anyone say that since like 2010. His lyrics seem much more poetic and macabre than they did on previous projects. “Bought a nightmare, sold a dream / Happiness went upstream / Blame myself; I had no control / Now I’m living with no soul.” I guess it’s not too much darker than Side A of Old lyrically. Fuck. This song is amazing. It’s fucking insane that this delivery works this well. If you sit back and think about the voice he’s using, this really shouldn’t work. On paper this delivery is way too goofy for such a serious album. It just works tho. I don’t even know how. It just does. The way the verses and hook transition into each other sounds so fucking clean. I love Danny Brown’s lyricism. “Feeling like I’m not alive / But I know I’m not dead / Living lies but can’t hide / Deep inside the truth dies.” This beat is fucking awesome. Who the hell is this Petite Noir guy? He did an amazing job with the production and the hook. His vocals on the outro were fantastic too. I love this song. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 4: Really Doe Feat. Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar & Earl Sweatshirt (Prod. Black Milk)

really-doe

Again, I’ve already heard this song. It’s fantastic. Lemme start with the production. Black Milk did a great job with this one. It’s easily the most accessible beat on the album so far, but that doesn’t make it any less dope. I think he did a really nice job of cooking up a beat that all four of these MCs would sound comfortable over. The first verse from Danny Brown is dope af. He somehow managed to use the same rhyme scheme for 24 bars. He only switched it up for the last four lines. The line where he says “Suckin’ on it like she gettin’ vitamins and minerals” is hilarious to me. His signature delivery sounds slightly squeakier and more high pitched than it used to. Maybe it’s just me. The hook from Kendrick is dope. Soulo’s verse was pretty good. I don’t know. I always feel like he’s not really trying. I think he can do better than that. He never blows me away with his feature verses. It’s like he only really puts 100% of his effort into his own music. As a matter of fact, I KNOW he wasn’t really trying his hardest because he tweeted this when the song came out.

It shouldn’t matter who the fuck he’s on a song with. He should be murdering every verse period. I still loved his verse tho. It was great. I just have a feeling that he could’ve done better. It’s not like there weren’t any dope lines in there tho. “Second grade, took my mama’s wedding ring; took that bitch to show & tell / Now I’m married to the game to no avail.” I just kinda wish he didn’t use the same flow as Danny Brown. Well, he kinda switched it up after the first few bars. To be honest Kendrick probably had my least favorite verse on the whole track. It was still really dope. I think he had the most interesting flow on this song, but I really just wasn’t that impressed lyrically. I think it’s just ’cause I hold Kendrick to a higher standard. He had a great verse. He just didn’t have the best verse, which is weird for him. He usually steals the show, but that definitely didn’t happen here. Earl killed it. He easily had my favorite verse. I think a lot of it has to do with who he is as an artist. The verse by itself would be cool from any rapper, but coming from Earl it’s extra dope. Earl barely ever works with other artists, so to see him on a track with three of my other favorite MCs was a dream come true. He sounded angrier than a motherfucker too. I’m used to hearing Earl sound sad and depressed and shit. I mean, he’s sounded angry before on tracks like Off Top & DNA, but he just sounds extra hard on this one. I love the way he ended his verse too. “Ask your girl why her mouth on my nuts / You’ve been the same motherfucker since 2001 / Well it’s the left handed shooter; Kyle Lowry the pump / I’m at your house like ‘Why you got your couch on my Chucks, motherfucker?” I’m not surprised that he had the best verse or that he sounded like this. I knew he was starting to rap with more aggression. It’s just really cool to hear him start working with other artists. If I were to rank the verses in order from best to worst in my opinion, I’d probably say Earl, then Danny, then Soulo, then Kendrick. They all had dope verses tho. I definitely fuck with this track. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 5: Lost (Prod. Playa Haze)

The way the previous track transitioned into this one was really nice. This beat is dope af. What the fuck… The way that fucking uh… Umm… Fuck. I don’t know what instrument that is. I’m bad with instruments… Ummm… Hmm. Is that a saxophone? Yeah, I think it is. I might be wrong tho. Anyway, the way whatever the fuck that instrument comes in is weird as fuck. It’s dope tho. The first verse is great. “Credit cards separating white lines on a mirror / Roll a 100 dollar bill, now my sinus all clearer.” Danny Brown is gettin’ FUCKED up. “Sniff when I get up / On the balcony drunk / Like, the world is mine / Staggering inside with my robe untied.” The hook is nice. I like the way he ended the second verse too. “‘Bout to put my niggas on make a million for them / Show you that you can make it without acting like them / Do you, lil nigga; go out there and just get it / Gotta have a hard back because these niggas gon’ whip it.” This is another great song. I fuck with this. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 6: Ain’t It Funny

OH MY FUCK. This beat is fucking incredible. I’m so happy right now. Danny’s fucking flow man… GODDAMN. I can’t fucking believe how dope this is right now. I don’t even know what to say. I’M SO EXCITED. I’m so glad y’all can’t see me right now. I’m freaking out. I’m such a fuckin’ dork. This song is blowing my mind right now tho. This might honestly be the best song I’ve heard all year. HIS FUCKING FLOW. “Verbal couture / Parkour with the metaphors / The flow house of horror dead bolted with metal doors.” I can’t fucking believe how good this is. This is absolutely insane. Everything about this song is fantastic to me. The beat is pure fucking insanity. It sounds like drugs. This is drugs in the form of music. I feel like a cokehead when I listen to this song. I can’t believe how much Danny’s stepped his flow up since XXX. “Nose bleed on red carpets, but it just blend in / Snappin’ pictures feelin’ like my chest bein’ sunk in.” The hook is fucking genius. “Funny how it happens / Who would ever would imagine / That jokes on you, but Satan the one laughing.” I cannot fucking believe this shit. Danny Brown is a fucking monster. In a good way tho. “I can sell honey to a bee / In the fall time make trees take back they leaves / Octopus in a straight jacket; savage with bad habits / Broke serving fiends, got rich became a addict.” I think the last time I got a feeling like this from music was when I listened to Act I by Jay Electronica. I feel like Danny put me in the shoes of a crack fiend on this song. “Ima wash away my problems with this bottle of Henny / Anxiety got the best of me, so I’m popping them Xannies / Might need rehab, but to me that shit pussy / Pray for me y’all ’cause I don’t know what’s coming to me.” This song is absolutely fucking incredible to me. I definitely fuck with this shit. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 7: Golddust

This beat is dope af. This fucking album is absolutely insane. I just can’t get over how much Danny’s flow has improved. Okay, fuck it. He’s already replaced Joey Bada$$. I’ve never gotten this feeling from a Joey Bada$$ song. It’s so fucking hot in my room right now. I’m gonna have to turn the second fan on. I’ve been working on this review for like 4 hours, but it’s taking forever ’cause I keep replaying the shit I’ve already heard. Goddam. Danny Brown’s really taking any drug that gets handed to him. “From last night still drunk / Popped a Adderall, nigga, that was my lunch / And I gotta hunch, roll another blunt / Call some hoes up, nigga, lets do some bumps.” Does… Does Danny STILL do drugs like this? How the fuck is he even alive right now? If he’s still doing shit like this then that’s a huge problem… I hope he’s just rapping about this shit and not actually doing it. I’m sure he used to live like this, but I hope he doesn’t still do that stuff. If he does then I hope he gets help soon. I hate to say this, but I don’t know how much longer he’ll live if it’s really as bad as this album makes it seem. Trust me, I DEFINITELY appreciate the amazing music, but it’s not worth dying over. Anyway, the first verse from this song is awesome. “Don’t have a soul / Myself I don’t know no more / Numbing up with drugs to suppress these feelings / Praying to the heavens; letting these devils get the best of me / Nigga what’s the recipe for a good time? / A whole lot of liquor while you doing coke lines.” The second verse was crazy too. Jesus fuck. I don’t even know why the hell I like this. The beat is basically a Rock instrumental. It just works so well tho. Danny’s voice fits the production perfectly on every song so far. Damn. Even Danny Brown himself is questioning how much longer he can live like this, just like I was a few sentences ago. “Will it all last? / Roll a hundred dollar bill / Nigga, blow cash.” This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 8: White Lines (Prod. The Alchemist)

What the fuck… This is easily the most experimental beat I’ve ever heard from The Alchemist. His beats are usually pretty standard; I’ve never heard anything like this from him before. I love the beat. Danny’s flow is perfectly synced to the pattern of percussion. I don’t know how I feel about his delivery tho. He’s using his signature annoying high pitched voice, which is cool, but he’s also kinda singing along with the melody of the percussion. It’s kinda annoying. He’s rapping about how the coke is making him super horny. I actually like it tho. This is probably the least vulgar song about sex I’ve ever heard from Danny Brown. The first verse was great. The hook is even better. “Lines and lines of coke / Heart beating hope it ain’t my time to go.” I feel like after this song this album is gonna get really dark. I mean, it’s already really dark, but I think it’s gonna get even heavier. The second verse was cool. This is easily my least favorite song on the album so far, but I still really enjoyed it. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 9: Pneumonia (Prod. Evian Christ)

pneumonia

This song was released as the second single for this album. I think I’ve heard it before. I’m not completely sure tho. I can’t really remember. It’s starting now. This beat is dope af. This is definitely one of the more accessible tracks on the album. I understand why this was chosen as a single. There are ad-libs from ScHoolboy Q in the background. I just thought I should mention that. The first verse was dope. It was only like 8 bars tho. He’s really goin’ in on this second verse. This beat is fucking amazing. I can see ScHoolboy spittin’ on this track. He would’ve sounded really good over this beat. The second verse was dope af. The song just ended. This is probably the most normal song on the whole album so far. I guess that’s why I don’t really have too much to say. It’s just a really good song. It’s an obvious choice for a single. Well, I guess Really Doe was probably the most normal song. This is a close second tho. It’s dope af. The music video was awesome too. He looked just like ODB, especially when he was hangin’ upside down so it looked like his hair was stickin’ up. 5/5

Track 10: Dance In The Water

This beat is weird as hell. It’s dope tho. What the hell… Ummm… Uhhh… What… What the hell is Danny doing right now? “Can you work it / Can you work it / Break it down, and just drop it low / You deserve it / You deserve it / Get it out and let it all go.” This… What the fuck? I get that Danny likes to make music like this from time to time, but it seems… It’s just so out of place on this album. It’s even more out of place over this beat. This makes absolutely no sense. I hated Handstand, but I understood it. It just doesn’t appeal to me personally. I don’t know who this is for. If you just read the lyrics you’d assume that it’d sound like something on Side B of Old. It doesn’t tho. It’s just another weird beat. “You deserve it.” Why do rappers always say that to girls who’re twerking? What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I’m sorry y’all, but I can’t do this one. I’m really not feelin’ it. At all. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 11: From The Ground Feat. Kelela

Oh shitfuck. This beat is dope af. Danny’s rapping with his normal voice again about how successful he’s become. “Now we out the hood, and the nightmare is us going back / So I won’t go to sleep ’til I finish that / Cousin of death anyway, now I see better day / And I ain’t tryna miss a minute, second hour / Living on borrowed time; can’t think about tomorrow ’cause it’s about today / And you know you wanna take my place.” The first verse is dope af. Man… This fucking production is insane. Kelela did her thing on the hook. The second verse was dope af too. The song just ended. I liked it. I wasn’t blown away like I was by a lot of the other tracks, but it’s still good. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 12: When It Rain

when-it-rain

This is this album’s lead single. Just like with Pneumonia, I think I’ve heard it, but I’m not completely sure. It’s starting now. Okay, I vaguely remember this beat. Gotdamn. Danny’s spittin’ his fuckin’ ass off on this first verse. The beat is dope af. “Dark clouds hanging all over our head / No sunshine and them showers be lead / Lighting up squares and them dots be red / Now ya best friend gets shot in the head.” This is the most gangsta track on the album so far. Oh shit. Okay, yeah; I remember hearing him sing some of his bars along with the beat and thinking it was dope af. This hook is awesome. Fuck yes. This is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. I love this beat, and the hook is fantastic. He killed that second verse. Yeah. I definitely fuck with this one. I fucking love this song. I can’t believe I forgot about this track. It’s dope af. The music video is great too. 5/5

Track 13: Today

This beat is dope. Damn. Danny sounds just like Andre 3000 on this song. Oh. Yeah, he’s definitely trying to sound like Andre on purpose. “Cure for cancer, cure for AIDS / Make a nigga wanna stay on tour for days.” He killed the first verse. The hook is cool. The second verse was great too. The song just ended. I don’t really have much to say about this one. The verses were dope af. The beat and the hook were cool, but they weren’t super amazing like a lot of the other tracks. This is a good song tho. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 14: Get Hi Feat. B-Real

This beat is dope. Danny’s rapping about smoking a ridiculous amount of weed now. There are a ton of allusions to Jazz artists. “No homo, but yo bitch go Tommy Dorsey on my trombone / Hit the greenery; jaws go Gillespie / Have a nigga shaking like he got epilepsy.” This song doesn’t have the most interesting content to me, but I’m still enjoying it. B-Real’s on the hook. It sounds like he’s using the same eccentric delivery that Danny Brown is known for. Eh… To be honest… This song isn’t really doin’ anything for me. The beat is kinda cool, but other than that this doesn’t really interest me at all. Marijuana is just such a boring drug. It’s not a bad song, but I wouldn’t ever wanna come back to this. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 15: Hell For It

This beat is dope af. Danny’s rapping his motherfucking ass off right now. “All the time I heard I wouldn’t make it / I was writing shit that was so damn amazing / When half these little niggas was still watching That’s So Raven / I was out there hustling, scraping up, and saving / Just to catch a 12 hour bus to NY / Sleeping on the floor in studios, asking God why.” The hook is dope. This beat is awesome. This second verse is even better than the first. Oh shit. “Have a bitch like Iggy think she sicker than me / And that’s so fucked up / That’s just how this shit be.” Lmao. The song just ended. Yeah. This one’s dope af. I definitely fuck with this track. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

This album is fucking great. This is definitely the best album I’ve heard all year. Wait, that’s not true. It’s the best album that I’ve heard that was actually released this year tho. I’m really amazed by how much Danny Brown has improved since The Hybrid. I already loved that album, but he seems to improve with every project. This is definitely my favorite album from him. If Old was just Side A that’d be my favorite Danny Brown album tho. I love this album. It did kinda go downhill a little bit during the second half for me tho. Ain’t It Funny was easily the craziest song on this album, and I kinda wanted to hear more shit like that. Aside from that, I think this album is fantastic. Paul White… That man put his fucking ASS into these beats, man. Seriously, the beats sound like drugs. I said that earlier, didn’t I? The beats sound like drugs in the form of music. This is definitely one of the most insane albums I’ve ever heard. I love it. I can’t wait to see how he’s gonna follow this up. I don’t know how he’s gonna top this, but he seems to get better with every project so I’m sure he can do it. This album is fucking dope. Again, Danny Brown definitely replaced Joey Bada$$ in my current top 10 favorite rappers.

Favorite Song: Ain’t It Funny

Least Favorite Song: Dance In The Water

Verdict:

89%

80-89

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One comment

  1. Solid outing from Danny Brown, from what I know dude ain’t into doing drugs like crazy anymore, but he dabbles occasionally.

    Favorite track has to be Acid Rain, it’s something that is raw and straight guttural, from the heart. As a matter of fact most of his catalog is intense and passionate and that’s why I fucks with his music.

    About B-Real, he was kinda the one who started the whole nasally pitched style of flowing (peep the first Cypress albums and you’ll see what I mean)

    Great job kid

    Liked by 1 person

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