It's the downward spiral, got me suicidal/ But too scared to do it so these pills will be the rifle." That's how Detroit rap phenom Danny Brown kicked off the second verse of the title track to his breakout 2011 mixtape XXX, and his astounding new album Atrocity Exhibition picks up right where that record left off. Brown began work on Atrocity Exhibition in the summer of 2014, linking up with frequent collaborator Paul White on the bulk of the album's cuts. "Me and him are the same way," Brown enthuses on the pair's partnership. "He's out there, and I'm out there too. We just want to make music...You never heard nobody rapping over this type of production before. This is not regular rap."
Indeed: Atrocity Exhibition is one of the freshest and boldest-sounding rap albums in recent memory, a sonic swirl inspired by the work of Talking Heads and Joy Division that nonetheless sounds like nothing else from the past or present. Along with contributions from producers like Evian Christ, Petite Noir, Black Milk and The Alchemist, White and Brown are absolutely in the pocket on Atrocity Exhibition. The pair fashion laser-beam guitars, creaking vocal samples, and air-raid drones into the most intriguing take on hallucinatory rap since the heady heights of Cold Vein or Madvillainy.
The intricate wordplay, unmatched storytelling, and lyrical thoughtfulness of Atrocity Exhibition further cements Danny Brown as not only one of rap's brightest lights, but one of the most consistently inventive artists working in popular music right now.
01. Downward Spiral
02. Tell Me What I Don't Know
03. Rolling Stone (featuring Petite Noir)
04. Really Doe (featuring Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt)
06. Ain't It Funny
08. White Lines
10. Dance In The Water
11. From The Ground (featuring Kelela)
12. When It Rain
14. Get Hi (featuring B-Real)
15. Hell For It