By Josephine Cruz
It’s been three years since Danny Brown released Atrocity Exhibition—the album he famously spent $70,000 of his own money on samples for. While the Detroit native may be making different financial decisions with his fifth album, uknowhatimsayin¿, one thing remains the same: even after over a decade in the game, he’s still one of the most inventive and fun rappers there is.
uknowhatimsayin¿ features executive production by none other than Q-Tip, who also produced the majority of the beats. The influence of the ATCQ pioneer is strong on the warm, sample-driven beats: tracks like “Theme Song” and “Change Up” could be lifted directly from the Native Tongues heyday with their jazzy vintage vibe. The laid-back, classic feel combined with Brown’s contemporary flows results in an era-bending mash-up we could only have dared to dream of.
Additional production contributions from the likes of Flying Lotus and experimental jazz duo Standing on the Corner add layers to the sonic palette. The wide-ranging features from JPEGMAFIA, Run The Jewels, Blood Orange and Nigerian spoken word artist Obongjayar are the perfect complement to Brown’s chameleonic character throughout.
“I’m livin’ my best life,” Brown boasts on the song of the same name, and we wholeheartedly agree.
Best Track: 3 TearzBlood Orange, Danny Brown, Flying Lotus, q-tip, qtip, Run the Jewels