Danny Brown puts all of himself into his art: his fears, his anxieties, his depression, and his drug use become visceral images both bleak and beautiful. Atrocity Exhibition – his long-awaited third album that dropped three days early this past Tuesday (September 27) – is yet another plea for real understanding masquerading as a genre-blurring masterpiece following 2013’s Old and 2011’s XXX.
The genre experimentation on display here (which *still* comes as a surprise to some) doesn’t do anything to hide the fact that Danny Brown is a rapper’s rapper, with sturdy bars that hit harder than the drugs do. In honor of Danny’s new album finally seeing the light of day, we decided a SPOT RUSHERZ was in order. Check out 20 of his best guest verses (in no particular order) below.
20. “Jay Dee’s Revenge” (J Dilla)
“Stay up out the hood like a bad carburetor” is only the second bar in this song, people. These are the kinda bars Jay Dee beats deserve.
19. “Flight Confirmation” (Alchemist/ScHoolboy Q)
Danny Brown brings out something off-kilter in nearly every producer he works with, and The Alchemist is no exception. This is also proof positive of Danny & ScHoolboy Q’s chemistry.
18. “Bodies On Fairfax” (Westside Gunn)
Detroit met New York on this slow but lethal cut from Westside Gunn’s debut album FLYGOD.
17. “Fire (Remix)” (Elzhi)
Elzhi played bandleader on this massive Detroit posse cut, but it was only Danny Brown who thought to rhyme “gumbo” with “George of the Jungle.”
16. “High” (Freddie Gibbs & Madlib)
If there’s one emcee who likes weed almost as much as Danny Brown, it’d have to be Gangsta Gibbs. Danny hopped on a track with Gibbs and Madlib with an escapist verse that could be seen as a precursor to the B-Real collab “Get Hi” from Atrocity Exhibition.
15. “Power” (Das Racist & Despot)
Danny uses his appearance with Das Racist and Despot to flex on just about everyone listening.
14. “Terrorist Threats” (Ab-Soul)
This cut from Ab-Soul’s Control System was the one that proved Soulo’s esoteric rhymes and Danny’s hyped-up energy would always sound good together.
13. “Toxic” (Childish Gambino)
Danny and Donald Glover share a mutual respect that goes back to Danny’s talk of drug-fueled depression, and they made good on their friendship with this killer track from Glover’s Royalty mixtape.
12. “The Last Huzzah!” (Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire)
Danny’s the only Detroit rep in this otherwise New York-dominated posse cut, but you’d better believe he holds his own. “Like a stray bullet, you niggas misled” is hard enough to make you believe that he was really about to “take the world over.’
11. “Shotgun” (Quelle Chris)
Quelle Chris’ beats are the kind of sleepy headknockers that only a select few can ride, and Danny Brown/Roc Marciano both honored “Shotgun” with some killer bars.
10. “Oh Hail No” (El-P)
Another El-P/eXquire cut that’s sure to leave jagged glass in your side.
9. “Street Lights” (Paul White)
Paul White carries the honor of being Danny’s favorite producer to work with, and this hazy beat and Danny’s straight-faced rhymes prove why.
8. “Tables” (Tony Yayo)
Fun fact: Danny Brown and G-Unit alum Tony Yayo have an entire mixtape together called Hawaiian Snow, which you should definitely sniff out.
7. “Vodka & Weed” (Jon Connor)
Danny bodies this drug-laced Jon Connor track while his vocals fuse with the hazy beat in more potent ways than you can imagine.
6. “Ego Death” (Busdriver)
California (Busdriver), New York (Aesop Rock), and Detroit (Danny Brown) bring their weird A-game to this spooky cut from Driver’s latest album. Is Danny the “rap Marilyn Manson?”
5. “Thunda Cats” (ZelooperZ)
Fellow Bruiser Brigade member ZelooperZ is in the group for a reason. The tag team slides in the pocket of this hedonistic joint.
4. “Thizzles” (Tech N9ne)
It’s hard to deny that the influence a spitter like Tech N9ne has on Danny’s style, and the two prove that they’ve got mutually beneficial styles here. Who knew Tech could match Danny on raps about molly?
3. “Cobra Commander” (Open Mike Eagle)
Do Open Mike Eagle and Danny Brown have all the answers here? Nope, but they’ve got bars to spare.
2. “Jahphy Joe” (Random Axe)
Sean Price never shied away from his love of Danny Brown, but it was on the one and only Random Axe album (Price, Guilty Simpson, & Black Milk’s group album) that the two were able to work side-by-side. And Danny holds his own.
1. “The Wozard Of Iz” (The Avalanches)
Australian group The Avalanches’ sample-heavy style has always intrigued Danny, so much so that he hopped on their comeback single “Frankie Sinatra.” This track later in their highly anticipated joint Wildflower hid a Danny Brown feature that showed even more skill over The Avalanches’ blissed-out production.