Detroit hip-hop has a rich and vicious history. Its most famous mainstream rappers (Eminem, Insane Clown Possee, Kid Rock) came up on the tail end of a crack epidemic by clawing their way through the town's vibrant freestyle scene, all the while combatting claims of cultural appropriation.
But that generation is more than a decade old, and Detroit has seen greatness come and go before: it was the center of American music during the Motown era, and is the birthplace of the legendary producer that passed too early, J Dilla. It's a city recovering from rampant desertion and governmental corruption.
Out of the city's west side came Danny Brown, a hyperactive buck-toothed wonder who raps like he's engulfed in flames. Danny is a direct product of Detroit: he was releasing mixtapes as part of the Rese’vor Dogs for nearly a decade, building a resumé of violent, funky group raps.
Danny might still be part of the Detroit scene, but his influences spanned both coasts. After immersing himself in the West Coast music of Spice 1 and E-40, Danny's father started bringing home Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest. From there, Danny picked up lessons from punk rock and England, listening to Korn, Rage Against the Machine, and Dizzee Rascal. Just recently, he even said he was "on some Trent Reznor shit."
The result is a jack-of-all-rappers who started to bloom once he started blending his inspirations. Back in 2012, Danny Brown told Complex, "The first song that I ever rapped [with the high-pitched voice] was 'The Hybrid,' that's why we called it 'The Hybrid.' I think that was [when I found my voice]. That was the statement that I can rap and I can do every style of rap." He's continued to prove his versatility since, not least by collaborating with non-rappers like Purity Ring.