I went to Cleveland for the second time, Friday. There was rap and more rap and more rap at the House of Blues. It was a new experience; I had never been to a rap show before. But I really like Danny Brown. A$AP Rocky, with Schoolboy Q, headlined the show, which was fine, excitable even, but Danny Brown was my motivation. He opened, went on at 8:00 and was backstage with a 40 before 9:00. The set was short, but Danny Brown played what you needed to hear, maybe not as his fan, but as someone who wanted good music.
Danny Brown is unique to his genre of music; he once claimed 50 Cent refused to sign him to G-Unit Records because he wears skinny jeans. I believe him. He doesn’t look like a rapper, but he is, no question about it. Every song he performed at the House of Blues exuded arrogance, every line ego, and everyone loved it. Although the crowd was initially sparse, Danny filled the void with energy, playing favorites such as “Monopoly” and “I Will” as the crowd grew and closed in around him. When the audience was ready, Danny finished with “Blunt After Blunt.” Everyone knew it would be his closer, but yet it was still unexpected. He snarled and wailed his way through the song, pausing only to allow the crowd the option to fill the chorus. We did; everyone screamed until they couldn’t, gathering air while he rapped another verse, waiting to unleash another Blunt After Blunt.
As Danny Brown finished, and as Schoolboy Q began to set up, there was a short intermission, with the majority of the crowd filed outside for a quick cigarette. Although everyone eagerly awaited the show’s continuation, Danny Brown’s performance had clearly captivated the audience. You could feel it. I met this guy from Florida who articulated it best, claiming “I came for A$AP. I didn’t know who Danny Brown was, but, yo, that motherfucker was sick.” And as people smoked cigarettes, Danny Brown really was the only thing worth talking about.