Earlier this afternoon, Danny Brown took time out of his day to speak with Zane Lowe about his forthcoming album, life as a hip-hop artist, and the benefits of aging. The Detroit rapper packed quotable after quotable into an interview just shy of nine minutes in length. From running to Lil Uzi Vert and Radiohead (the latter makes him sleepy when he jogs) to joining forces with Warp Records (Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, TNGHT), he held nothing back.
“Fool’s Gold is still my family,” he says of the split with his long-time label. “They’re still helping me out with this project and stuff, too, but it was time for me to renegotiate! Warp came in. I was always a fan of what they did. They have a big, strong history. A legacy. I feel like I can progress more in that world.”
When Lowe asked Brown what matters most to him in a business or creative relationship, the response was immediate: “My artistic freedom! That’s my number one thing.”
The months following 2013’s Old largely consisted of video games. Brown just wanted to be a “regular person, go to Walmart” he said with a laugh. His period of normalcy lasted four months, cut short when he began his latest undertaking—the forthcoming album. For those keeping score at home, more than two years of work went into what’s to come.
Happily, he said he had learned how to take better care of himself after years of late nights and touring: “Me being in my thirties, I was never able to go too far off the edge… I always pulled myself back up. I’m not even trying to go the edge no more… I’ve been to the edge. You can only skydive so many times.”
Fans of Danny’s seminal mixtape should be overjoyed by one bit Brown offered on his next release: “My albums just document what I’m going through. This one is just about after XXX and me making Old… This one picks up right after XXX left off.”
Hear Brown must-listen interview with Zane Lowe below, and watch the Talking Heads-inspired video for “When It Rain” here.