Learning To Rap
Danny Brown: “I never learned how to rap. As long as I could remember, I knew how to rap. When I was a baby my mama always used to take me with her to the laundromat. She would take mad Dr. Seuss books and she would just read Dr. Seuss books to me over and over again.
“So when I first started talking, I talked in rhymes. Like when I said ‘Dad’ I would be like ‘Dad, bad.’ I guess I was like a child prodigy rapper or something but I’m glad I’m not like Bow Wow. I’m glad I didn’t get discovered as a kid.
“Another story is, my cousin used to rap. One day, I tried to rap too and it all worked and he gave me the craziest look. He was like, ‘He know how to rap!’ I don’t even remember that. I was too young to remember.
I never learned how to rap. As long as I could remember, I knew how to rap. When I first started talking, I talked in rhymes.
“My earliest recollection [of rapping] was me going hard writing raps in the third grade. I know I had my own rap notebook in third grade and I rapped at my fifth grade graduation. By the time I was in the sixth grade I already thought I was a rapper. [Laughs.]
“By high school, I already knew song structure and all that shit. I wasn’t as good as I am now. At that time, I didn’t know how to be myself. I was still a kid and I was growing up, so I had to find myself.
“What I’m doing now [I’m doing] because I know how to be myself and I know how to make music. When you a kid making music, you’re just trying to make what you hear. I was just trying to be like Nas at that time and I had a wack rap name like [Dee Luciano]. I dunno, it was some dumb shit. I was just trying to be like a karaoke machine tape. [Laughs.]
“I’m like a forgotten generation. I’m the first generation of hip-hop kids that grew up with nothing but hip-hop. They forgot about us cause by the time it was time for us to start rapping they was already old in the game and rich. They just wanted to keep the job instead of just passing it on to us. Now the money all gone and spent up and we got the Internet and that’s pretty much all it is.”