Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Browns Atrocity Exhibition

Max Becker, Sports Editor

Representing the Bruiser Brigade, Detroit’s Danny Brown has propelled himself into the underground rap scene through his exuberant rap style and explicit lyrics, coupled with spastic over-the-top production. His music offers a unique dichotomy, frequently featuring his distinct voice yelling over high-pitched synths and telling tales of a rock-and-roll lifestyle filled with women and substance abuse. The true talent of Danny Brown, however, comes in his ability to also offer deep insight into his personal life, where he tells stories of growing up in poverty  and struggling to survive the harsh winters of Michigan, as well as the many vices and addictions he has come to live with since becoming wealthy. His newest release, Atrocity Exhibition, picks up where Old began, confessing his struggles with depression and drug dependency in a deeply personal musical memoir.

The album starts off with a heavy track in “Downward Spiral”, where Brown reflects on his long, sleepless nights he spends mixing prescription drugs and alcohol, and his isolation from the rest of the world. “Everybody say, you got a lot to be proud of / Been high this whole time, don’t realize what I done” he confesses in the second verse, going on to describe his loneliness, a void in which he fills with marijuana and Hennessy.

In “Tell Me What I Don’t Know”, Brown reminisces on ditching class to sell drugs to the local dope fiends, as well as the death of his friend, gunned down in front of a local liquor store as a result of the gang-banging they were involved in. He expresses his desire for finer things, knowing that he was destined for a better life outside of the ghetto.

In “Really Doe”, Danny Brown and posse feature hard-hitting features from the likes of Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, and Earl Sweatshirt over a triumphant Black Milk production. In the morbidly upbeat track “Ain’t It Funny”, Danny reflects on his own mortality, acknowledging his excessive cocaine use, the dangers that it poses, and the grim realization of how fleeting this life is. He laughs at just how easily it is to fall victim to addiction, and just how hard it is to work through it, “Say you need to slow down/ ‘Cause you feel yourself crashin’ / Starin’ in the devil face / But you can’t stop laughin'”.

In the final track, “Hell For It”, Brown establishes his place in the rap game, and promises he will continue working until he has reached his “Heaven on Earth”. He discusses how his will was often tested, yet he always knew he was destined to be the greatest to ever do it.

Overall, Atrocity Exhibition delivers exactly what it promises, an honest, no-holds-barred account of man struggling with his suicidal tendencies and drug addiction. Danny Brown’s explosive voice coupled with the sinister production creates an unorthodox harmony, and one that sticks in the listeners head far after the conclusion of the album.