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Danny Brown’s ‘Sweeney Song’ Started With a Random Phone Call

Mndsgn-produced bar-barrage appears on upcoming 'Classic Drug References Vol. 1' box set

Any heads still pissed Danny Brown’s Essential album Old didn’t bring the old Danny Brown back should listen to, um, the new Danny Brown. (Also, everyone should watch Bob Dylan’s Brown-guesting “Like a Rolling Stone” video. Goddamn.) “Fuck doing features, you niggas competition,” the Detroit MC sneers over Mndsgn’s slinky boom-bap on “Sweeney Song” (via Pitchfork), from the upcoming Classic Drug References Vol. 1 box set, and the track boasts plenty of the squawking hedonism familiar from Brown’s XXX era. That’s because the verses are from the XXX era.

Sweeney Kovar, who used to run the rap blog Classic Drug References, explains:

“Danny was my long shot for this project. By the time I got moving on this he’d already signed with Fool’s Gold and was about to drop XXX, which would establish him as one of the fiercest MCs out. I emailed and DM’d to no avail. One day I decided to try something really crazy and picked up the phone and called him. The stars were aligned and a rapper actually answered his phone. In all of two minutes he agreed to cut a track. I emailed him a .zip of beats I’d culled from the homies and about a week later I got a sendspace link entitled ‘SWEENY SONG.’ He had taken a Mndsgn beat and absolutely ripped it to shreds. It’s been so long since he cut it that it now sounds like vintage Danny to me, which of course I love. I fixed the typo in the title and ran with it.”

Classic Drug References Vol. 1, consisting of three 7-inch records and a zine, is set to start shipping around November 25 in a limited run of 500 copies. Along with Danny Brown, the set also includes tracks from Blu & Knxwledge, Ras G, and Quelle Chris. Pre-order here. The tracks will also be available digitally on December 3, and you can pre-order on iTunes.

Listen over at Soundcloud.