It’s good to have Danny Brown back. Until the announcement of Atrocity Exhibition last month, his first album since 2013’s Old, he’d been almost silent, occasionally mentioning a new project, hinting that he was “putting the final touches” to a new set of tracks, but save for the Live from the Majestic documentary, there wasn’t much for his committed fanbase to pin their hopes and expectations on. But then there was “When it Rain,” a snarling, frantic track that put him firmly back in the mix, and even though Atrocity Exhibition didn’t have a release date, even though it barely had any details attached to it at all, it was enough to get the wheels turning.
Now he’s sat down to talk the project through with Rolling Stone and the picture is becoming clearer. Atrocity Exhibition will be released September 30, the artwork looks like Black Sabbath’s Vol 4. on acid, and Brown seems to have been spending his last two years making sure that everything was just perfect.
Danny Brown stars in Noisey Detroit. Watch the full episode above and read the full interview here.
Rolling Stone say that the album drew inspiration from “Raekwon, early Björk, Joy Division, Talking Heads and System of a Down's Toxicity” which would sound bizarre if this wasn’t Danny Brown. B-Real of Cypress Hill, Ab-Soul, and Kelela will all guest on the album; producers as varied as Alchemist, Black Milk, Petite Noir, and Evian Christ will all be featured; oh, and it’ll feature Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt in their first ever on-track collaboration.
Which all sounds, well, typically Danny Brown: left-field, audacious, ludicrously ambitious, and almost certainly excellent. He’s taken his time with the record, he says, because “[I’m] somebody that’s able to sit down and be able to take my time, cause ain’t nobody gonna be out there sounding like me, ain’t nobody gonna be out here doing what I do.” It took a princely $70,000 to record, he says, “because “You could have a Rolex or you can have a Swatch.”
He also dug deeper into the Joy Division-referencing title of the record, saying that he related to Ian Curtis’s emotions on the track. Curtis, he says, was “pretty much talking about how he feels like he's part of a freak show almost. People just wanna come see him and they just wanna see him be a certain type of way. I totally relate to that. That's just how I felt with this album, 'cause a lot of people expect for me to be some crazy drugged-out I-don't-know.”
Rewatch "When it Rain" below and feel free to get psyched.
Follow Noisey on Twitter.