Messing With G-Unit & Rocafella
Danny Brown: “In 2003 when I first started going up to New York, my homie that used to help me put out my projects—like printing up my CDs and shit like that—[brought my shit to Def Jam].
“We ended up meeting this one A&R named Travis Cummins from Rocafella around 2005 and shit. He fucked with us. We got a meeting the next day but during the meeting we said some dumb shit. They were like, ‘Get out of here,’ and that was pretty much it.
They used to play [Dame Dash my] music all the time. No one was fucking with it. But at the time I was a bum-ass nigga from Detroit with fucked up teeth and nappy braids. [I didn’t sign to The Roc but] Damon Dash met me one time. He told me, ‘Good luck, get money.’
“We still had Travis number and we called Trav maybe four or five months later and we were like, ‘Yo we got some new shit we want you to hear.’ He was like, ‘Come through.’ So we went back out to New York.
“We went back up to Rocafella and played him the shit and he like, ‘Oh, this shit dope!’ That’s when he started fucking with me. He took me down to the studio in Queens and all that shit started happening. Once all that Rocafella shit happened, he got fired from Rocafella and he started DJing for Juelz Santana.
“They used to play [Dame Dash my] music all the time. They would try. No one was fucking with it. But at the time I was a bum-ass nigga from Detroit with fucked up teeth and nappy braids. [I didn’t sign to The Roc but] Damon Dash met me one time. He told me, ‘Good luck, get money.’
“I was doing that ’05 and ’06. I got locked up ’07 and I came back out in the ’07 and I went back out there and recorded Detroit State of Mind 2 and 3 and I stopped going back to New York.
“I first went to New York in ’03 and I’d go back and record in studios whenever I could. Then in ’05 we started recording at Fire and Ice studios in Queens and that’s when I met Nicki Minaj, Stack Bundles, Gravy.
I was Yayo’s homeboy so Yayo took me to 50 Cent. 50 was with the music, he didn’t just fuck with the look.
“That’s how I met Doughboy from G-Unit. That’s really how I met Tony Yayo and G-Unit in general. When I was back in Detroit, Yayo got casted to be in some movie in Detroit and he came out there. Doughboy hit me up like, ‘Yo I’m out here with Yayo.’ I met Yayo at the movie set and I would fuck with them niggas—I would be getting them weed.
“I showed Yayo the “Re-up” video and he went crazy. He flew me out to New York. [Laughs.] I was Yayo’s homeboy so Yayo took me to 50 Cent. 50 was with the music, he didn’t just fuck with the look.
“I don’t want that to be coming out wrong: At the end of the day, 50 a good nigga. I don’t got no bad feeling about that because I always knew what I was doing. They didn’t know what I was doing. They didn’t understand me getting high reviews in Pitchfork for The Hybrid. They don’t know what the fuck Pitchfork was.