My knowledge of Danny Brown before listening to this record was that he’s name dropped Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Joy Division in interviews before, I’ve been interested in him since reading about that, and to be honest Atrocity Exhibition is completely unique in that it sounds like a Post Punk Hip Hop classic, which are two genres I never thought of putting together.
Danny Brown has previously been known for a variety of Hardcore Hip Hop records, which range from party anthems to melancholy tunes, this album is dark, manic, surreal and anxious; as such it’s almost perfect.
The album was named after a Joy Division song and a J.G. Ballard novel.
The drumming on Atrocity Exhibition is recalling of the primal drumming of Stephen Morris, of Joy Division and New Order, which perfectly informs the album’s depressing tone.
The album itself is even named after the opening track of Joy Division’s final album Closer, so it’s pretty easy to see how the famous Manchester band influenced Brown.
The standout tracks are Really Doe and Ain’t It Funny. Really Doe includes fellow Hip Hop acclaimed artists like Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatshirt, and I can’t help but think the song might be one of the strongest of 2016. However Ain’t It Funny is my personal preference, with it’s blearing sound however I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ll be an anomaly.
Other great songs on the record are Tell Me What I Don’t Know, Rolling Stone, White Lines, Pneumonia and When It Rain.
This is the Michigan musician's fourth studio album.
The album comes across as a future classic better than any other album I’ve heard over the year, it isn’t my favourite but it is eerily great and incredibly forward thinking.
I’d even go so far to recommend it to any non-hip hop fan as the album is great, and honestly I’m not the world’s biggest Hip Hop fan, but I can tell a good record from a great one, and this is a great one.