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This month's choice wasn't easy. Deciding between Earl Sweatshirt's twisty feature on Danny Brown's "Really Doe," Lil Wayne's candid effort on Solange's "Mad," André 3000's vivid contribution to $ilkmoney's "Decemba," and Danny's cracked verse on "Lost" ruined office relationships. There's a case to be made for each, but I had to go with the Detroit MC.
Danny Brown is one of the few rappers trying to push the genre forward. His latest album Atrocity Exhibition has some of the strangest production anyone has ever used for good old-fashion rapping, with songs at punk rock length. Danny modulates his voice like a LEGO figure swapping heads. One second he's got his tongue out, raising devil horns and inciting mosh pits, and the next he's on a Detroit block giving rappers the business.
On "Lost," over a jazzy loop provided by DJ Playa Haze, he kicks off each verse with filmmaker references and ends each verse with a water-whippin' chorus made for the stove. But the way he opens the first verse in particular—"I’m like Kubrick/With two bricks/And hoes on the strip"—and the reference to Shalamar's Jheri curl juice sealed the deal for me. He snapped.
I’m like Kubrick
With two bricks
And hoes on the strip
Off a two-piece
A toothpick I flick
And I preach
Bout how I’m a get this money out here up in the streets
In the Caddy Ron Isley on, "Between the Sheets"
And a way a nigga work make a grip in aweek
I’m a chill with this freak
Sniff a gram and a half
Plus her pussy juicier than Shalamar curl bag
While she draw me a bath
Roll a blunt then passed
Jiggled and giggled her booty
Couldn’t do nothing but laugh
Credit cards separating
White lines on a mirror
Roll a $100 dollar bill
Now my sinus all clearer
Flat screen porn on
Watching Asa Akira
Nothing on but my pinky ring
Sniff when I get up
On the balcony drunk
Like the world is mine
Staggering inside with my robe untied"
Do coke with some porn playing in the background and the Isley Brothers coming out the speakers. Live a little. Be somebody, baby.