Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Danny Brown – When It Rain

The nontroversy keeps rolling in…


Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Only an eccentric like Danny Brown could pull off such a weird, minimal bass-hop tune based on a classic Delia Derbyshire sample. Paul White has topped himself with the beat, a condensation of grime, ghettotech and footwork that sounds both like a perfect synthesis of Brown’s output — namely, the deeper cuts on his XXX and Old albums — and a vision of the future. The Warp affiliation is finally showing. 

Alfred Soto: Danny Brown whines “Oh, you ain’t know that” like Groucho Marx asking a cigar in Margaret Dumont’s hat. The artful trickster is his pose, and, boy, have I missed it in three years.

Iain Mew: He’s still using squeaky sad samples, but this one is fast enough to fit with the chaos; the lack of half measures fits the theme. The feel is somewhat akin to getting caught out in a summer downpour, uncomfortable but with an edge of thrilling awe at the ongoing force.

Thomas Inskeep: This is… bizarre. Like Chicago hip-hop (and yes, I know he’s from Detroit) crossed with Nola bounce and a fair shake of psychedelics. I’m not sure how much I like it, but it’s never dull. +1 for the Cajmere reference.

Claire Biddles: I can’t catch the beat because it’s constantly changing pace, switching immediately from a slow, grinding verse to a jittery pre-chorus. The haunted house bassline threatens to make the whole thing ridiculous, but instead holds things together.

Ryo Miyauchi: It’s eerie how phrases change shape depending on context. This is how the chilly idiom “when it rains, it pours” works, but it also goes for “hit it from the back” as well as “get your ass on the floor now.” Both of the dance floor chants, the first an old Traxmen & Eric Martin reference, turn into descriptions of casualties in Danny Brown’s universe filled with gunfire. That said, his most powerful message lands starkly straightforward: “Now your best friend gets shot in the head.” And that punctuating “damn” lands with the blood-boiling stress fueling the rapper’s great XXX. I only hear glimpses of that dread in “When It Rains,” but it’s enough for now.

Crystal Leww: Danny Brown has such an expressively textured voice that it’s almost surprising that it’s not able to carry songs by itself. I was wrong about “Attak”; that song went off like fireworks on dancefloors because Rustie provided a production that was dramatic enough to complement a raspy “tell you bitch to suck my dick.” “When It Rain” is all build — Brown never relents, and when that beat finally hits halfway through the song, it still doesn’t quite feel like payoff.

Brad Shoup: A sort of “Bombs Over Detroit” — it’s jittery but not nervous, cos that’s our job. It’s haunted by techno and thoroughly uninterested in any real build, just four-on-the-floor pulse and a keypad-access melody.

Will Rivitz: The craziest thing about “When It Rain” is not its paranoid clock ticks and thudding transition into torrential kicks, Danny Brown spitting like he’s stuck his finger in an electrical socket. Rather, it’s that it shows, without a doubt, that even after XXX (my favorite mixtape ever) and Old (a worthy follow-up album), Danny Brown might not even have come close to his ceiling. Based on “When It Rain,” Atrocity Exhibition could very well be Brown’s best release, and given the strength of his previous work, that prospect is incredibly enticing.

Reader average: [8.5] (4 votes)

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One Response to “Danny Brown – When It Rain”

  1. this is a [10], definitely one of his best songs