Growing Up In Detroit

Danny Brown: “I was born and raised in Detroit. My parents had me when they was young, my pops was 16 and my mom was 18. Detroit is really crazy. It was worse back then but it’s more fucked up now, economically.

“When I was a kid it was a lot of money floating around, so it was just a lot more contract killing. Now it’s just random; somebody smacked somebody’s glasses and they get killed. Back then it was more disciplined.

“I had a good-ass childhood because my parents was young so they knew what was hip. I would get all the new hip-hop from my dad. My dad was a house DJ so I was getting all that shit too. Plus they knew I liked music, so they always encouraged me to do music.

 

On the East Side, I used to get beat up all the time. [Laughs.] I had nobody over there and I’m the oldest with two brothers. And I’m kind of not really gangster like that.

 

“My parents ain’t really want me out the house. They did as much as they possibly could to keep me in the house with whatever the newest video game was. But you know you can only keep a kid in for so long. Plus that had me sheltered, so once I did get away I used to disappear for like four days.

“My grandma—my mom’s mom—worked at Chrysler pretty much all her life. Through working at Chrysler, she bought like four or five houses. I came from Chrysler/GM money.

“To this day we still got those houses. She owns three houses in a row on that block and she owned them since the ‘70s, so it’s really our block. If we didn’t have those houses, I don’t know what we’d do. That’s actually houses you’ve seen in the video for ‘Re-Up.’

“[Those houses were on the West Side.] On the East Side, I used to get beat up all the time. [Laughs.] I had nobody over there and I’m the oldest with two brothers. And I’m kind of not really gangster like that. [Laughs.]

“We was the kids that had more than what the average kid would have. We never came out the house. When we did come out the house, we came with better looking clothes, better looking shoes. That was the West Side mentality.

“But on the East Side, everybody over there was really dirty. They had money but they didn’t focus on being fresh. The whole shit over there is about being gangster. You don’t go buy outfits and shit. You get money over there and you buy guns and you get chains.”