Danny Brown’s last album, Atrocity Exhibition, was widely acclaimed and viewed by many to be one of the best projects of 2016. To follow up such a successful project can be a challenge, but, luckily for us, Danny Brown seems more than ready for the daunting task at hand. “Dirty Laundry,” the first single off of his recently-announced project, uknowhatimsayin¿, is a brazen, colorful statement of intent, letting everyone know that he’s got more to say.
Much like Danny Brown’s signature vocal style, the beat (courtesy of Q-Tip) is vivid, hallucinatory and cartoonish. These are not the shadowy, vintage cartoon images that are suffused throughout much of hip-hop (e.g. Madvillainy, “Cartoons and Cereal”), but more like the vibrant, acid-drenched animation found on Adult Swim. Much like the experimental cartoon programming block, Danny Brown is not afraid of vulgarity, and his record of humorous sexual explicity is continued on “Dirty Laundry”: Lines like “Once got a ho, ain’t had money for the room / So we did the humpty hump in a Burger King bathroom / Lowkey kept it undercover / The way she slurp slurp, she’s the quicker picker-upper” make the double entendre of the title all too clear (even if the “quicker picker-upper” line is actually the tagline for Bounty paper towels).
Most importantly, Danny Brown sounds fearless and confident in his new direction. “Dirty Laundry” preserves the bizarreness and acerbic wit that makes him special without stagnating, is brimming with creativity and is an auspicious sign of things to come.