Danny Brown Talks Detroit Music Scene in Budweiser Made in America Doc [VIDEO]
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In the seventh episode of the Budweiser Made in America documentary series, the crew heads to the city of Detroit, which brought us automobiles and the Motown sound. Of course, the D-Town has a rich hip-hop and techno scene as well. Hometown artists like Eminem, Inner City, the late J Dilla, Carl Craig and many others have helped shine a musical spotlight on the Motor City.
But there’s also a new wave of artists who are continuing on with the musical legacy of the aforementioned artists. One of those people is rapper Danny Brown, who explains to Noisey reporter Kim Taylor Bennett about Detroit’s music mentality.
“Detroit is a place where there’s no entertainment,” he explains. “We are always attracted to things that are extreme. We want to see the wildness, we want to see the wild stuff.”
The ’25 Bucks’ rhymer cites several different artists from Detroit as his musical influence.
“For me, when you got someone like J Dilla… which his influences are like soul samples and loops, that’s pretty much Motown,” he explains. “And on the other side, it’s electronic with Juan Atkins and Model 500. If you [listen to my last album] ‘Old’ it’s pretty much that — I’m showing you the soul side and the electronic side.”
Bennett also talks to musicians Carl Craig and Inner City member Kevin Saunderson, who are pioneers of techno music.
In the ’80s, techno ruled the dance floors from coast-to-coast. Homebase was Detroit on a small block called Techno Boulevard. It was there that Craig, Inner City and many other musicians developed their vibrant sound.
“Craig is the most talented artist [from the techno scene],” praises Saunderson. “He makes music discontinuously and he never stops and it always great.”
Meanwhile, Craig gives props to Saunderson’s group Inner City for putting Detroit on the music map with their ’80s club hit ‘Big Fun.’
“When ‘Big Fun’ came out. It wasn’t being played four times a night, it was being played four times in a row,” he recalls. “That record was so freakin’ hot, it was unbelievable.”
Post-punk band Protomartyr also talks about the Motor City’s influence. The group credits the thriving hip-hop and techno scene but also Motown for shaping their bluesy yet arduous sound.
“We all feel it’s very important to have a realistic view of the city,” explains the band. “That includes taking in the good and the bad. If you don’t, then you are delusional.”
Although Detroit has now become a bankrupt and almost desolate city, it hasn’t stopped young people from coming to the metropolis to develop businesses and bands.
Brown vows to stay in D-Town no matter what. It’s the city that raised him. “I love it here,” he says. “I understand what’s wrong with it. And I know it’s not going to change because I lived here my entire life and it hasn’t changed.”
“Once we get that right mayor… somebody that really cares about the city and wants to rebuild it and make it right [things will change],” he continues. “Hopefully, I’ll see it in my lifetime.”