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Interview:
Detroit rapper Danny Brown takes success in stride
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Danny Brown is on the lips of just about every hip-hop tastemaker these days.

The Royal Oak-based rapper's third album, "XXX," was Spin magazine's top hip-hop album of 2011 and played to rave reviews in publications such as Pitchfork and Passion of the Weiss. XXL named him one of its Top 10 Freshmen. He's made guest appearances with G-Unit's Tony Yayo, Esham, Floasstradamus, and the Australian electronic troupe the Avalanches, among others.

He's a known quantity, in other words, but Brown says that, "I still consider myself to be fairly underground.

"I like the attention," says Brown, who was born Daniel Sewell in Detroit and was part of the group Rese'vor Dogs before going solo. "But maybe because I'm a little older than everybody (31), I don't really get too big-headed about all that stuff. If I was 21, I'd be ecstatic right now.

"But I really feel like I"m at the tip of the iceberg. Right now I've still got a lot of stuff to impress myself with."

Brown, who's released seven mix tapes in addition to his three albums, is ripe for a major label deal, but he's satisfied enough with Brooklyn's Fool's Gold Records that he's biding his time for the right offer to come along. "I have interest in getting a nice up-front check," he explains. "Other than that, I don't care. If they don't have a big, big check, then I'm cool with what I'm doing now."

He's entering the fashion world too, via a deal with Adidas Originals that will market his trademark tight jeans and other items. But Brown is typically blase about that, too.

"To be honest, the whole fashion thing is me just doing what I want to do," he explains. "I never look at fashion as me being on a runway; if that happens, it happens. But I don't see myself trying to design or anything like that. I just wear the clothes I want to wear, and if people like it enough to wear 'em, too, that's cool."

Danny Brown performs with Jon Connor, Dusty McFly, Sayitaintone, K Deezy, Shannon Al$ston and Nate Eaken as part of Dream Chasers Hip-Hop Invasion on Saturday, April 28, at the Emerald Ballroom Theater, 31 N. Walnut St., Mount Clemens. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 586-913-1920 or visit www.emeraldtheatre.net. Brown also opens for Childish Gambino on Aug. 3 at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and $25. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.emeraldtheatre.net

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