Danny Brown - 'Radio Song'

I like Danny Brown. I first heard him in completely non-extraordinary circumstances, with 'XXX' featuring in the top 20 of FACT's run down of their top albums of last year. His flow is as immediately recognisable as it is gloriously idiosyncratic. I find this really important with an MC: if the flow sounds like too much of a carbon-copy of someone else, then I switch off pretty quickly (Drake's nonchalant delivery seems to be a good example of one that has recently been picked up by countless lazy imitators). Sometimes it isn't so much what is being said but how it's being said: how it rolls off the tongue, and how much venom is charged in the delivery - and Danny's got buckets full of venom in his cannon. Something that really made 'XXX' stand out was Brown's chameleon-like ability to switch between tone, ranging from downright demented, high-as-fuck cuts like 'Blunt After Blunt', to strikingly candid and reflective moments like 'DNA'.

Nestled in amongst such entirely opposing tracks was 'Radio Song'. It's got the video treatment, which you can stream below. At only 2 and a bit minutes long it kind of passed me by listening to 'XXX' the first couple of times round, but coming back to it, it perfectly embodies Danny as the kind of "alternative", "outsider" rapper he's often labelled as. Observing the tendency for chart-hungry artists to churn out any old paint-by-numbers, flavour-of-the-month sound, Brown is in no mood to hold back, name-checking Wiz Khalifa: 'He made Black and Yellow, I'mma make it black and emo'. And Brown seems pretty certain of the outcome for such commodified artists: 'That's why these wack rappers, they never last long/Don't care about music, just radio songs'. Always nice when hip-hop has an agenda behind it.

Directed by: Alex/2tone

How good is Danny Brown's t-shirt collection? Amazingly, it seems some have already taken to the comments section on Youtube to suggest that this song represents Brown selling out... apparently irony continues to completely pass some individuals by. A radio friendly unit shifter if ever there was one.

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