Two years can make all the difference in the rap world. Dial back to 2011 and before his release of the monstrous XXX, Danny Brown was still swimming in the regional waters of his native Detroit. Around that time, Brown contributed a track to the now-defunct rap blog Classic Drug References. And though CDR has since closed up shop, the track has been unearthed and will be released on the upcoming Classic Drug References Vol. 1 boxset.
While two years can mark a dramatic difference in popularity and prominence, they don't always change an artistic vision. Such is the case with "Sweeney Song" (named for CDR creator Sweeney Kovar) which bears many of Brown's now famous staples. There's the opening yelp of "check", like a sound check dragged through an insane asylum. Brown's flow isn't quite as hyper-kinetic, but he still sounds harried atop the drum claps and slithering organ riff supplied by Mndsgn. His tried and true subjects make appearances, as the madcap MC details heart stopping pill-popping and a libidinous mind-state. Unlike the party-gone-awry atmosphere conveyed in XXX or Old, here Brown's rhymes are given a more ominous bent courtesy of the aforementioned organ. When he's "off them Xany footballs", you don't chuckle so much as shudder. Even through the hazy cloud of drug-consumption, Brown's dedication to craft shines through as he shouts "Kanye" and "Wu-Tang". Between benders, he can be found dutifully scribbling into his notepad. "Knowing one day I would have these critics tripping" he prophesies near the song's end. With such a dogged determination, it was only a matter of time.
The Classic Drug References, Vol. 1 box is out December 3 and can be pre-ordered here.