Sometimes something happens in music that puts your fandom to the test. An event that separates the "true" fans from the casual listeners. Such seemed the case last week when Danny Brown's "new" track "Change" came out. Heaps of credible music news sources reported that it was the first release off Brown's upcoming album, Danny Johnson, a collaboration with producers Blu and Mainframe (who usually work under the alias Johnson&Jonson).
"The “Danny Johnson album” was actually released back in 2010 under the name “Its A Art” and has been available on the web for free since then. Don’t be mistaken, none of these releases are new material but i guess if you haven’t heard it its new to you. Enjoy!"
Whoops. I won't front, I totally thought "Change" was new material and this brouhaha definitely took my Danny Brown fan cred down a couple notches. But without getting too self-absorbed, It's A Art is actually fantastic. It's a toned down, drowsier, pre-Fool's Gold Danny, and the production is prime. Don't get me wrong, I love the inherent aggression and hunger of The Hybrid and XXX, but it's a welcome surprise to hear a levelled-out, calm side of Danny.
Below is the tape's punchy opener, "Hybrid", and the almost cartoonish "The Grump"—you can just feel the dowdiness on that one. Go download It's A Art before it spirals into oblivion again.