How can you measure the success of a free project? Is it the number of downloads or is it the ability to crash DatPiff? Well consider this: In August of 2011, Danny Brown released XXX, his first project since signing to Fool's Gold Records. Brown then waited over two full years before releasing a follow-up solo album, Old. Sure, there were a few singles, guest appearances, and a brief EP with his group the Bruiser Brigade, that he dropped along the way, but Danny's buzz grew for over a year off the strength of this release.

XXX holds weight for a reason. The project is a journey through the zany universe that the Detroit native resides in. There are plenty of tales of debauchery, told with Danny's outlandish wit and signature shrill voice, but there's still songs like "30" that take an angry and introspective turn.

The production on XXX was a pivotal part of the puzzle. It is the perfect blend of the hard-hitting boom-bap sound that Detroit is known for mixed with an electro influence that has trickled into hip-hop's landscape these past few years. With production from SKYWLKR, Paul White, and brandUn DeShay, among others, Brown found a sound that was neither stuck in the past or desperately trying to follow a trend.

Everything about Danny Brown has been distinctive, and XXX is no exception. — Dharmic X