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Danny Brown Goes Boom-Bap on Winking Throwback ‘Side A (Old)’

Danny Brown in the trailer for his upcoming album 'Old'

Danny Brown loves the bait-and-switch. The title of breakthrough album XXX was a reference not to pornography but instead to his age. Fittingly, the title of his new album Old is a reference not to his age but to people who have told him they want the “old Danny Brown back.” The Detroit rapper’s music long ago mutated from the dusty, sample-based hip-hop of Motor City legend J. Dilla to freaky electro jams more palatable to a younger fanbase, but on “Side A (Old)” — helmed by London producer Paul White, who collaborated with Danny on “Street LIghts” — Brown raps over a pretty straightforward boom-bap beat that also features record scratches and a sample of his own “New Era,” a track off his 2010 mixtape The Hybrid. The first advance track from his upcoming record works as a sort of thesis statement for the album, but there is a trace of disgust in his measured, deep voice here, which is the total flipside of his better-known manic squeak.

“Side A (Old)” also soundtracks the album teaser video above, which shows Brown standing stoically in a house in Detroit. According to the video, Old‘s release date will not be September 30, as was recently announced, but October 8. However, the whole album, which includes lead single “ODB,” will still be streaming on Spotify on September 30.