The 25 Best Songs of 2011

15. Danny Brown "Die Like A Rockstar"

Other rappers just wanna party like a rock star, but Danny Brown is not like other rappers. This standout from his brilliant XXX mixtape finds the unhinged Detroit MC pushing his self-destructive tendencies to the limit, spazzing out over sleazy, off-key synth chords and submarine sonar sounds that sound downright demonic. Danny likens himself to a laundry list of deceased musicians and Hollywood bad boys, and you can't help but fear for his life when his already urgent squawk goes over the edge on certain lines ("Bitch I'm Frankie Lymom! Heath Ledger! Hyped up in the Jacuzzi, doin' that Jim Belushi!"). Rarely has any rapper's wild-eyed intensity sounded so palpable. We get the feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg for Fool's Gold Records' star in the making.

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