Our super-enthusiastic friends over at VICE Netherlands recently got to kick it with the cutest MC with the stupidest hairdo, Mr Danny Brown. Our Dutch colleagues claimed that Danny “enables shy boys from the Dutch countryside to love him like pregnant women love rolled herring”, which is about the most Dutch sentence ever.
Anyway, for their festival guide, they quizzed DB on everything from getting fucked-up on Adderall, the joys of slumming it suburban-style and, foot fetishes.
NOISEY: First thing’s first, what’s the best Adderall story you have?
Danny Brown: I guess the craziest one was the first time I ever took it. I saw an MTV documentary about it, and it didn’t seem like a bad thing to me, and I thought to myself. 'Shit, I might use this shit for writing raps and shit,' you know? So I took it and went out to buy a notebook and then I wrote a song. It was actually the first song I recorded for The Hybrid, and it was called "The Hybrid," which is how I came up with the title of the album and the whole moniker. So I guess the first time I ever did it, it brought forth this whole wave. I’m actually, like, crashing off Adderall right now. I just wrote mad songs, so... Yeah, I’m always crashing, haha.
How bad is it? Amphetamine crashes aren’t good, I hear.
Yeah, it sucks! At the end of the day you just... it just makes you unhappy. There’d be a lot of times where I'd be like, "What the fuck am I mad at?" And then I just think about all the shit that’s been going good for me, and I know it just has to be an Adderall comedown, just something fucking with my social skills. I take Adderall so much sometimes I don’t even know what I’m coming down off. It’s like a bipolar thing. For some reason I’ll get upset, or just get sad. And there will really be nothing for me to be upset or sad about. The only thing that does fuck me about it is that it just makes me emo as fuck, you know?
That sucks. What do you think about festivals?
As a music fan, it’s great; I love to see new artists. But some festivals fuck it up and then you see all these artists hopping on and douching it.
Like Dr Dre headlining Coachella, I would rather see Bon Iver headlining, you know? Or you know, whoever should be the big festival draw should be the festival headliner, not some big rapper just coming down. Or an artist like Jay-Z or 50 Cent playing SXSW. Festivals are about me getting put up on new music. So I don’t know, festivals, I’m kind of 50/50 on them. I will answer it like that.
What do you think about people sleeping in tents and getting fucked up for three days straight?
I think that’s the way you ‘posed to do it. Your car is parked extra far, so to camp out there is the way to do it. But am I strong enough to do that? I don’t know! I’m from the hood, I ain’t used to sleeping in no tent, you know what I’m saying? I mean, it’s like people homeless in some sense. To some rich kid from the suburb, living in some mansion, sleeping in a tent is kind of fun. But for me personally, I don’t know, sleeping in a tent is like one step from where I be escaping from with this rap shit. I’m not even trying to mirror that image and shit.
I was checking out the interview Nardwuar did with you and then I noticed someone on YouTube took all the pieces in the interview where you were laughing and put them together in one video. So it’s like one, big infectious piece of laughter.
I was just so gone off Molly at that time. I probably was up for like two days, doing interviews, doing shows. I was kind of tripped out of my mind at that time. It was like an out of body thing, but it’s cool, because I was a happy person at that time. Some people do drugs and it’s like a depressing thing to see them all fucked up. But me, I just get happier.
A friend of mine wanted to know why you’re so awesome, because he saw that video of you laughing and, well I guess that’s the question, why are you so awesome?
Umm… Because I do what the fuck I want to do. And I think I just have confidence. I walk around with a missing tooth; you know what I’m saying? You gotta have swag to pull something like that off. Also, with anything I do, I’mma be a snob about it in some sense. When I dress, I wanna be a snob about it. I think it’s because I’m from the brokest of the broke, I’m from the hoodest of the hood. A lot of people expect that just because you’re from there, you’re some dumb, ignorant guy, and you probably don’t know about shit. In some sense that made me want to know everything about everything that’s not involved in that world. Even with fashion, I wanted to know about all the expensive clothes and shit like that. And another thing too is that I’m from Detroit and there’s not too much to do, so I always had to entertain myself. There’s one thing too, and this is something I’ve never said in an interview, but I’ve never driven a car in my entire life. I don’t know how to drive. So I always walked. Which gave me a lot of time to think.
I just think a lot and I’m often by myself. My friends, I see them when I want to see them, but at the end of the day, I’m just by myself. A lot of people can’t do that, but I learned to be by myself. So when I do come out the house, I’m like an uncaged animal.
Is being by yourself something you learned, or is that something just in you?
I’m the eldest son. When you have little brothers, you always wish you had your own room. So once I got to the age where I could be by myself, I did it all the time and before I knew it, it became a thing. Some people would say it’s a hermit-type thing. When I was 16 I was going out to nightclubs and titty bars. I was all baby-faced; like, imagine how I look at 31, and now imagine how I looked at 16. By the time I was 21, I felt like I had lived my twenties. All the shit a person would do in they twenties, I felt like I did that shit already. So in my twenties, I just wanted to be a musician. I didn’t want to party, I didn’t want to club. I just wanted to stay in the house and I wanted to get my music as tight as possible. When you doing something like that, you wouldn’t do it around somebody. You would do that by yourself. When I finish this interview with you, I’mma take an Adderall and race off, by myself.
One last question then. I was wondering about this one line in your song "Monopoly". It goes: "My hoes got toes in expensive high heels..." But what is the significance of the hoe having toes?
It’s not. Shit, I like toes! I just don’t want to see no fucked up ass toes, like that’s the worst thing you see when you wake up in the morning, being in the bed with a bitch. It’s they toes, right? I mean me, I wake up and I look head down first. And if you look to the bottom of the bed and you see a bitch' toes peek out underneath the cover, and they all fucked up and shit, you kinda failed last night bro! I don’t care what happened when you looked to the left and how her face looked, if the bottom is fucked up then the top is fucked up, too. No bitch feet supposed to be fucked up, bro.
So there you go, not only is Danny talented as shit, he’s also a fountain of life knowledge. Whether it be coastin’ on uppers or the importance of pedicures.