Saying that rap superheroes don’t style their hair in Willow Smith fashion would be understating the obvious. Still, Danny Brown’s the only new rap cat I’d place alongside Gangsta Gibbs in the he-can-rap-his-narrow-a**-off department, giving him the distinction without a moment’s hesitation. And the only written piece I’ve seen rival his current feature in Detroit Metro Times would be the breakdown of The Hybrid which was based around Danny’s accounts. This time around, he leaves the words in the hands of scribe Jonathan Cunningham, who paints an accurate depiction of Linwood’s finest in his natural setting.
“The jovial 29-year-old rapper immediately gives an impression of a kid who’s used to things going his way. He’s a riot in person, and it’s all wrapped up neatly when he flashes a tooth-deficient grin. He’s got confidence, a sense of self-satisfaction, to spare. One thing is certain: He’s not afraid to take career chances, and things do, inevitably, so far, work out in his favor.
“Depending on his personal level of excitement, his voice sways easily between gruff and falsetto, he carries himself like a cocksure Snoop Dogg in his prime, one who doesn’t give a shit what others think of him. By the time we ease off the I-94 and roll toward a house off of Linwood, where he partially grew up, the street lights are all out, prostitutes stroll along the curb, and a speeding cop car flips down a one-way going the wrong direction. As luck would have it, this is Brown’s street.
“As we stop in front his grandmother’s house, two squad cars close in on an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme parked a couple doors down. The cops bark at the occupants to put their hands in air. Brown’s reaction: Just another night in the hood.”
The only portion of the article I take umbrage with is the author lumping Danny in with Das Racist, Lil B, and Odd Future in another attempt to caramelize rap. The aforementioned have yet to prove themselves as rappers, relying on their skills as entertainers and shock value, seemingly setting themselves up for only temporary relevance until media outlets hop on the next new thing. The Hybrid raps and does it better than most, having earned his stripes through the studio and streets.
Anyways, the article breaks down how Adderalls inspired “The Hybrid” moniker, the significance of a House Shoes’ cosign, a year-long jail stint and how D grew tired of replacing his lost teeth…so he did without them.
“I just think God intended for me not to have teeth,” he says, laughing. “I was a little kid. I was riding my homeboy’s bike, back when I was staying off Gratiot. And this IROC-Z pulled out of a KFC parking lot and I didn’t see it. I got hit by the car head-on. That’s how I lost my teeth the first time. But I got ‘em fixed! Parents paid for it and everything, I was good. Dawg, like a month later, I’m playing in the house, I fell and chipped a tooth on the table leg. I’m like, ‘Damn!’ Didn’t get it fixed, then was playing basketball a couple of years later, and a nigga came down with an elbow and chipped the other tooth. So I had two, big ass chipped teeth. The shit started deteriorating, and one day I was eating a big piece of chicken, and the shits just came out.”
I guess the missing chompers are another aspect of Brown which makes him an unlikely superhero, but so real it’s compelling enough to make us root for his effusive honesty, both internal and external.
Read the full article at Detroit Metro Times.
Photo: Detroit Metro Times