Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Danny Brown: uknowwhatimsayin? [Warp, 2019]
Although the 38-year-old ex-dealer and ex-con's first album since 2016 clocks in at 10 tracks in 31 minutes, to me it feels major as it puts its stamp on the verities of a hip-hop I've treasured since the year he was born: voice, verbiage, beats. Brown's nonstop flow is unique yet in the tradition, distilling his comic, caustic Detroit drawl into something suitable for streetwise tale-spinning and both-sides-now truth-telling alike. His lyrics are undiminished from "Stand-up niggas taking shots to the knees" and "Boarded-up houses in between lie the killing fields" to "Mixin' Ripple listening to Minnie Riperton" and "Got more pills than the Olsen twins." And from Q-Tip and JPEGMafia to 10cc and Ota Petrina and oops here's Yoko Ono too, the music never stands still. A