Back in 2011, Detroit rapper Danny Brown turned heads with his gap-tooth smile, flamboyant rockstar outfits, graphic lyrics, and sharp storytelling. Now that he’s closing in on 40, Brown has drastically changed his appearance. He’s healthy, fixed his infamous tooth gap, and no longer rocks skinny jeans that’d cost the average person their monthly rent. Despite all this, his music remains extraordinary.
His fifth album, uknowhatimsayin¿—which was produced by Q-Tip—boasts all of the absurd characteristics of a Brown album, but through its tone it occupies a unique space in his discography. In his lyrics, Brown still reflects on the drug-fuelled lifestyle that almost killed him; however, uknowhatimsayin¿ is largely an optimistic album. Tracks like “Best Life” and “Shine” discuss Brown’s once-bleak lifestyle but communicate that he’s never been happier.
Through a newfound attitude and sound, uknowhatimsayin¿ abandons the downward-spiral storylines present on his last album, 2016’s Atrocity Exhibition, and allows Brown to hone his talents as a reflective comedic genius.