Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Danny Brown at Altar Bar - April 15, 2014 - Ticket Giveaway and Preview

Danny Brown will be in Pittsburgh Tuesday, April 15, at Altar Bar. Danny is one of the bigger names in rap today. Hailing from Detroit, he's acquired the unfortunate designation of "hipster rapper," mostly because he wears skinny jeans and has been championed by publications like Spin and Pitchfork, the former of which named his album XXX rap album of the year in 2011.

But what about the music? Here's his bio from Rap Genius: "an unconventional hip-hop artist employing multiple flows and cadences thus the moniker of 'The Hybrid.' His style varies from low pitched gravely tones to a manic, high pitched, squawk." There's a streak of tracks in the middle of Old, his most recent album, from 2013, with dusty old beats that sound like they belong on a Madvillian album. This is no surprise considering the (possibly apocryphal) tale that Danny's brother used to send him Doom lyrics to read while Danny was doing time for selling weed. (Danny also appears on Madlib's new album, Pinata.)

Here's "Dip," the club-banging first single off of Old.

On the second track off Old Danny takes aim at the whole "hipster rap" sleight:

The return of the gangster fuck a hipster squeeze a trigger
You got me fucked up, I'm a hood-ass nigga

But this track is followed by one that features electro-pop duo Purity Ring, who, let's face it, are a hipster band. And then there's this great quote from an interview with Pitchfork where he talks about Radiohead's Kid A being an inspiration:

I made XXX with the aim of getting great reviews. And when I started making Old, I was trying to think of artists that came back from getting great reviews and made an album that was just as good-- or better! The only group I could really come up with was Radiohead. So if XXX was my OK Computer, then I'd have to make my Kid A next. So I studied Kid A, and I took away that it's not so much about the lyrics as it is about the way the beats feel, so what drives this album is the production.

But let's get down to what matters: who cares about the hipster thing. Danny Brown raps about what he likes and what he knows: is there anything more hip-hop than keeping it 100? Let's not forget that most of today's best musicians are the ones breaking barriers between genres. 

We have two tickets to giveaway for this performance. Email us at pghmusicreport [at] with "danny brown" in the subject line to enter. Bodega Bamz opens. This all-ages show starts at 8, doors at 7, and tickets run $18 in advance.


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