Music

RAP | ALBUM REVIEW

Danny Brown, ‘Old’

On his breakthrough 2011 album “XXX,” Detroit’s latest insane clown poseur transformed himself into a complex character praised by both hustlers and “hipsters,” a term the ghetto-raised rapper proudly claims. He scored by moving from debauched thug-life celebrations, delivered with a fast, clipped whine, to reflective cuts delivered with a straightforward, mid-tempo flow. On this highly anticipated follow-up, the 31-year-old skinny-jeans-lover intensifies the contradictions by mixing up the moods like an ace DJ. What unifies the album is the superb production, which marries indie-rock values to street-rap style. Among other things, the various producers mostly hone to punk’s rule of brevity: 11 of the 19 tracks clock in at under three minutes. Sometimes, like on “Wonderbread,” the concision compounds Brown’s message; other times, like on “Dope Fiend Rental,” it’s just a relief to escape his ugly side. (Out Tuesday)

FRANKLIN SOULTS

ESSENTIAL “25 Bucks”

Danny Brown and Action Bronson play the
Wilbur Theater Oct. 3.

Franklin Soults can be reached at fsoults@gmail.com.
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