Danny Brown to play Hopscotch 2012

Submitted on Mar 29, 2012

For those keeping score at home, Danny Brown is in the midst of a banner year: In August, the underground Detroit maverick released XXX, the latest cyclone from his cavern of free mixtapes and his first on venerable DJ label Fool’s Gold. When Spin revealed its “40 Best Rap Albums of 2011,” a countdown that featured hip-hop royalty like Jay-Z and The Beastie Boys and heralded newcomers like J Cole and Curren$y, Brown’s XXX sat atop the list at number one. Last month, both The Fader’s Spring Style and XXL’s Freshman Class issues included him on respective covers, a nod not only to his rhyming prowess but also his growing role as tastemaker. And two weeks ago at SXSW, The Atlantic reviewed live performances by Brown and (Hopscotch 2011 alumnus) Dustin Wong, saying they were both akin to “the spectacle of one human sounding like more.” While everyone from Pitchfork to fashion blogs to Dublin’s The Irish Times busily crowned him one of the festival’s best acts, he celebrated a birthday. Not bad, right?

None of these plaudits are overly surprising for a rapper so skilled, except when one considers Brown’s path. He is a veteran hustler with nearly a decade of experience—from original group Rese’vor Dogs to an EP with G-Unit’s Tony Yayo, meaning he’s traversed every side of the industry. His voice, aptly described by critic Christopher Weingarten as an “adenoidal honk,” is reminiscent of the pitch projected by Bootie Brown during the first verse of the The Pharcyde’s classic “Passin’ Me By.” Sure, some might call it an acquired taste, but he eschews commercial hooks and radio-friendly structure for verbose rants about sex, drugs, and those mainstream songs he hates. You’re as likely to hear references to Maya Angelou, Sam Cooke, or Gandhi as you are a line about Adderall. As for the aforementioned style, picture a coiffed side mullet paired with a sequined camo tank top and Adidas cowboy boots.

Or better yet, come see the man himself in September. It’ll be the end to one hell of a year. —Greg Lowenhagen

Tickets to the Hopscotch Music Festival are available here. The complete Hopscotch lineup will be announced April 18th. Please stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks.

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