Danny Brown speaks of the living conditions in his city of Detroit, and the differences in its portrayal in the rap world.
Danny Brown has always made sure to pay tribute to his hometown. His Detroit State Of MindÂ mixtape series, and his work with local producers like Black Milk and OhNo, are good examples of the city's influence on his music, but Danny has not always painted a positive picture of Detroit. In tracks like XXX's "Fields" the rapper details the less-than-ideal living situation in the city, something he expanded on in a recent interview with Fader.
The rapper spoke at length about the financial issues in his city, what he would do to change it, and the difference between fellow Detroit rapper Big Sean's portrayal of the city and his own.
Towards the end he also reveals that his new album, Old is ready to be released at any moment.
Read some excerpts from the interview below.
What do you think about the bankruptcy?Â At the end of the day, itâs probably something that shouldâve been done 10 years ago. For the entire time that Iâve been livingâborn and raised hereâwe always had some hope that shit was about to change. They was about to do this, to build some new shit. We always thought things would get better. But now Iâm a grown ass man and itâs worser. Ainât nothing changed. A new football stadium, new baseball shit, but economically it declined. You ride around and see how fucked up it is.
Are you proud to be from Detroit?Â I probably talked to you about this [forÂ the FADER feature]. A lot of rappers are always about repping they hood, but for me itâs always about gettingÂ outÂ the hood. I moved to Royal Oak, thatâs where I still stay. I love Michigan. I might not like Detroit so much, but I love Michigan. Donât get me wrongâI do love Detroit, I just know we got problems. You listen to how I talk about Detroit, and you listen to how a rapper like Big Sean talk about Detroit, and itâs like weâre talking about two different cities. Which is probably true, because Detroit is that type of cityâhe went to the best high school in the city, you know, he probably was real spoiled or sheltered, so itâs like two different worlds. He can look at it and talk about guap, and we donât have any.
Itâs funny, I donât think of him as from Detroit. To me heâs just a rapper on the radio.Â A lot of people in Detroit donât consider him that either. They say he from LA now. He ainât been to the hood in years, and I wouldnât either if I was him, to be honest. Itâs not a bad thing. Iâm in the hood every day now, so I see the faces, I see the desperation. I have a studio now thatâs five minutes from where I was born.
What do other people you know think about the bankruptcy?Â At the end of the day, itâs a lot of people whoâve never left Detroit, so they donât know whatâs bad or good. A lot of them feel like they love Detroit, they feel like itâs fun, itâs happy. It might be a piece a shit, but itâs they piece of shit, so they gone treat it like itâs gold. Once you leave and you see shit is better, you start thinking different.
Had you been in charge of Detroit, what would you have done differently?Â I wouldâve been more concerned with youth shit, because thatâs where the future is. Itâs never really been a concern. I wouldâve been concerned with fixing schools and community centers and things for kids to do with they time. Because thatâs whoâs out here shooting people, thatâs whoâs breaking into your house, thatâs who out here robbing. Itâs not grown men, because weâve been through cases already, we scared to do shit, we donât want to go back to jail.
Whatâs going to happen to the city?Â They trying to stress us out so much to make us leave, so they can take over. You can see neighborhoods now that were straight crackhead central, and now itâs hipsters building gardens. In some sense, they want everybody from the city to move to the outskirts and suburbs so they can take overânot saying white people or black people, just rich people.
Since Iâve got you, I have to ask aboutÂ Old. When is the album coming out?Â At this point I guess itâs still supposed to be a secret. Itâs supposed to be really soon. Everything is done, the music is done, the videos is shot, the cover is done. Iâm just waiting on Foolâs Gold to push the button.
Listen to Danny's "Fields" below.