Taking Rap Seriously

Danny Brown: “I ain’t start selling drugs until I was like 18. In high school, my crew, we thought [drug dealing] was wack. We was all about getting fly. Once I got above a certain age, all that parent shit stopped. My mom and my pops split up. Once my pops left, I was the man of the house.

“I always told myself I was going to be a rapper my whole life. I was selling drugs since that’s what all my friends were doing. And it was kind of like something to rap about maybe.

“I always told myself once I got my first case I was gonna stop. Then I got my first case but I didn’t stop. I got distribution and manufacturing and possession with intent to distribute. I was 19 [at the time].

 

I was selling drugs since that’s what all my friends were doing. And it was kind of like something to rap about maybe. I always told myself once I got my first case I was gonna stop. Then I got my first case but I didn’t stop.

 

“I caught my second case loitering with some weed but it violated my probation but I ran and I didn’t go to court. I just ran for like at least 5 years. But once I got caught I had to do 8 months.

“When I violated my probation, I got my second case and I was scared. I had warrants so I couldn’t really slang like that cause I didn’t wanna go to jail. I was broke in the hood. I had nothing else, so I just started going back to studying music and trying to become a rapper.

“I got out of jail in ’07. I took it serious from that time but it took a lot of shit to happen in my life to get me confident to know I could do it. I had more confidence when I got out of jail because the day when I got out of jail I started selling weed. I ain’t had no money after the first two months, like, ‘I was way better off in jail.’

“By then I was already making my New York trips and going to recording studios so I was already serious when I got locked up. When I got out it was like, ‘It’s now or never.’”