Friday, December 9th, 2011

AMNESTY 2011 – Danny Brown – Lincoln Continental

Highest score given to an Adderall addict all year…


Brad Shoup: “I’m a Continental,” Danny avers, as in “something they don’t make any more.” It’d probably be hilarious to hear the instrumental with ad-libs attached. Brown’s contribution is cartoony chaos, and while I’ve seen some of these shows before (the president-as-pimp thing again?), detailing welfare fraud is always funny. Like a ratty banner in a cleared-out reception room, the Final Fantasy swipe gives him something nobly lunatic to swing on.

Jonathan Bradley: Hip-hop has long been au fait with the notion that America’s biggest gangsters are the white power elite, but Danny Brown eschews such familiar territory for the slyer and subtler proposition that hucksterism is universal. Pilfering a sample from Final Fantasy VII and a smorgasbord of adlibs from Lil B, Flocka, Soulja Boy, and more — seemingly for no greater reason than they weren’t tied down — Detroit’s weirdest careens loutishly from career move to career move, announcing a remix in the same snotty tone as he launches a press conference and poses for snapshots. Why does he jack your Medicare? “What the fuck you thinking; I’m a politician.” “Lincoln Continental” is an ode to success wrought from bad behaviour, be that in the form of showboating at a nice dinner, playing loose with the truth, or just cheating on the First Lady with his secretary. “I’m in the Brown House, smoking that doo-doo” is the song’s sordid mission statement; Danny refusing to delineate the governmental from the scatological — and not for satirical reasons so much as aesthetic ones. Is he going to war and asking for change because he’s the president, or just because he’s a rapper who’s fucked up his recording budget? Who gives a Pepé Le Pew?

Edward Okulicz: Feels a good minute longer than it does because the sample starts to sound like a whine or a drone, whichever is less palatable. All the more reason to focus on Brown, who’s taken his name seriously and chucked in some apposite toilet gags. If he sounds like he can’t even get his mouth around the word “continental” at times, the rest of his flow needs not be fast, it sounds commanding.

Iain Mew: I’m not sure what instrument the backing track is being played on (or meant to resemble) here. Whatever it is, it wheezes in a slow and sad way which is really at odds with Danny’s exuberant delivery. The disconnect makes the song feel like it has much more substance than it otherwise would. Not that there’s too much wrong with not having substance when you’re this funny and enjoyable.

Jonathan Bogart: That woozy, pitch-drunk beat is something.

Zach Lyon: There was a period of about a year in middle school where the only albums I listened to were the soundtracks to Final Fantasy VII and VIII, so it admittedly became hard for me to listen to Danny’s words after I was hit by the freakish nostalgia of the sample. Why is it even there, except to freak me the fuck out? It’s not very presidential. It sounds like a sample Chiddy Bang would use, not a dude who was courted by 50 Cent to join G-Unit (though his jeans were too skinny for it, apparently); it works, of course, because it doesn’t do the Chiddy Bang thing of building the whole song around the sample to appeal to a base of entry-level hipsters. After about a dozen or so listens, I finally got to hear the words, and Danny isn’t bad — there’s nothing great here, nothing particularly new or funny, but it’s a good introduction to a rapper who sounds like he might be impressive very soon. And he has enough charisma to fall back on in case that doesn’t happen.

Jer Fairall: Endearingly cocky in his delivery, and the idea that he seems to see himself far more as a Bill Clinton than a Barack Obama is rich with satirical possibilities, but his punchlines are nowhere near as funny as he believes, and the shit and weed jokes at the front of the track sour too much of the mood right away.

Alfred Soto: Stoopid not stupid, Brown’s analogies and drawled vowels denote the sauciest kind of confidence — like Rick Ross heaving stolidly over a sampled string motif.

3 Responses to “AMNESTY 2011 – Danny Brown – Lincoln Continental”

  1. Haha, I was going to write something about the backing sounding like JRPG music but thought that was just down to it being one of those things that I’d listened to so much of it that far more stuff reminds me of it than is reasonable. Never occurred to me that it actually was! Even after the first Final Fantasy reference I was thinking Owen Pallett. Now to try to mentally place it in the game without looking it up… Nibelheim?

  2. Didn’t we give Jojo’s “Marvin’s Room” a higher score? IM JUST SAYIN U COULD DO BETTER

  3. Iain: it’s the main theme, but I think there are several variations. And one of them plays over the world map? Nibelheim was my first thought too tho. It’s been years.